Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth Decay Prevention - Briarwood Valley DentistryThe foundation of a healthy mouth lies in the prevention of tooth decay and as your Kalamazoo, MI general dentistry providers, we at Briarwood Valley Dentistry are here to help you with that. Tooth decay is a disease that results from the interaction of naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth and sugars that are consumed in your diet. These sugars can create a reaction in the bacteria, causing them to start producing acids. These acids then break down tooth enamel, which can lead to tooth decay. To help prevent tooth decay from occurring, we recommend adhering to a strict dental hygiene regimen that includes not only brushing and flossing, but regular dental exams, diet control, fluoride treatment, and potentially sealants.

Regular Dental Visits

After daily brushing and flossing, the next step in maintaining a healthy smile lies in visiting the dentist. You should regularly schedule visits with your Kalamazoo, MI general dentistry provider once every six months. At these appointments, your general dentist will not only examine your teeth and treat any existing dental problems, but you’ll also get a teeth cleaning as well.

Diet Control

Having strong and healthy teeth, bones, and soft tissues of the mouth require a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Eating a variety of foods from each of the five food groups will help minimize the chances of developing cavities and other dental problems. You should limit your consumption of sugary and starchy foods (candy, cookies, chips, crackers) as these are more likely to cause tooth decay. On the other hand, healthier foods, such as vegetables, cheeses, and low-fat yogurt, will help strengthen your teeth.


Fluoride is a substance that can help teeth become stronger and more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride can be found in many different sources, including toothpaste and most public water sources. By regularly drinking fluoridated water and brushing with toothpaste that has fluoride in it, you’ll be able to help prevent tooth decay. Your Kalamazoo, MI general dentist will be able to evaluate the level of fluoride that you’re getting. If needed, fluoride supplements can be recommended. These recommendations might include toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even some dental flosses.


One of the most likely places to develop cavities is in the chewing surfaces of the molars. This is because these surfaces contain grooves that bacteria and food can easily get trapped in. Additionally, it’s not always quite so easy to get bacteria out, even with committed brushing and flossing. When the trapped bacteria react with food particles, acids form and break down the tooth’s enamel, causing tooth decay. Sealants can help prevent this from happening. They’ll essentially seal the grooves of these molars, preventing bacteria and food particles from getting trapped there and causing tooth decay. Sealants are made out of a resin material that’s applied to the molars or other cavity-prone areas. They’ll typically last for several years, though they should be checked during regular exams.

Contact Briarwood Valley Dentistry!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions regarding tooth decay or maintaining great oral hygiene. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for general dentistry near Kalamazoo, MI, feel free to fill out our online appointment request form. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and keeping your mouth free of tooth decay!