If life’s a highway, then you should always be moving in the right direction. It’s important to always take care of your mouth – and not let potholes like cavities stop you in your tracks. “Cavities” is really another way of saying “tooth decay,” which, although shorter and catchier, is just as serious. But tooth decay doesn’t happen overnight – it happens over many days and nights, beginning with plaque.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat foods that contain carbohydrates (sugars and starches), these carbohydrates are converted into acids by the plaque bacteria. These acids break down and damage the tooth enamel and ultimately create a small hole in the tooth.
If you’re on the road to tooth decay it’s going to be a bumpy, painful trip – left untreated, cavities can go from bad to worse to “ouch!” As a cavity progresses into deeper layers of a tooth, it can eventually reach the delicate nerves at the centre, which may result in an abscess – an infection at the root tip. At this point, a root canal, surgery, or extraction may be necessary.
The great news is you can turn things around and get back on track; tooth decay is almost always preventable! As well, if found early enough, some decay can be treated and reversed. For example, you can help re-mineralize tooth enamel and reverse the tooth decay process with twice-a-day brushing, using a fluoride toothpaste, and rinsing with a fluoride-containing mouthwash such as LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN® ANTI-CAVITY™ and LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE®
When driving a car, safety always comes first! You’ve got to take care of it – stop and re-fuel, keep it clean and take it to the mechanic for regular check-ups. Similarly, incorporating these simple steps into your daily life will help you avoid potentially lifelong problems with tooth decay and ensure a smooth journey:
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