How to Prevent Tooth Decay & Gum Disease

How to Prevent Tooth Decay & Gum DiseaseTooth decay and gum disease put your dental health at risk. Tooth decay often starts as a minor cavity, but an untreated cavity can quickly worsen into decay that could require a tooth extraction. Gum disease does more than damage your gum tissue: It also causes bone loss. How to prevent tooth decay & gum disease? The answer is surprisingly simple, easy and affordable (yes, really!): Take good care of your teeth with a daily at-home dental hygiene routine, visit your dentist twice yearly for necessary dental cleanings and check-ups, and eat sugary and starchy foods in moderation.

Brush your teeth daily

This is perhaps the most basic care task for your teeth — yet it’s also the most important! Brush your teeth twice daily at a minimum, particularly in the morning after you wake up and at night before bed. Brushing at these times helps remove the plaque build-up that has time to gather while you sleep and helps sweep away left-behind food particles and plaque that accumulates throughout your day. You can also keep a spare toothbrush and toothpaste in your desk at work to brush after lunch. Brushing helps prevent plaque build-up so lingering plaque doesn’t harden into tartar, which can only be removed at the dentist.

Floss daily, too!

Flossing gets into the tight crevices that your brushing misses, so it’s a vital step of your dental hygiene routine. Floss at least once a day to clear away food particles and bacteria that result in tooth decay and gum disease.

Rinse with mouthpiece

An anti-bacterial mouthwash helps manage the levels of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can result in both tooth decay and gum disease.

Eat sweet and savory snacks in moderation

Sugars and starches in sweet and savory foods react with the bacteria in your saliva to form acid that erodes your tooth enamel, which makes teeth susceptible to tooth decay. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, only eat sugary and starchy foods in moderation.

Visit your dentist every six months

A dental cleaning removes tartar build-up that cannot be removed at home. It’s important to rid your mouth of tartar, because the hardened build-up leads to cavities and periodontal disease. Your dentist will also perform a check-up to monitor for signs of dental disease.


Dr. Burds and his team focus the care they provide on enhancing every aspect of your dental health. To schedule an appointment, call Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. Located in Des Moines, IA, we proudly welcome patients from River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and all surrounding communities.