7 Ways to Prevent Cavities
Cavities are damaged areas of the teeth that develop into tiny openings and holes. Cavities can also be called tooth decay and are caused by a number of factors, including frequent snacking, too many sugary drinks, or not properly cleaning your teeth. Anyone can get cavities, including infants, but they are more common in children, teenagers, and older adults. If not properly treated, cavities can get larger and then affect deeper layers of the teeth. The deeper the cavity gets, the more likely it can lead to pain, severe infection, and loss of the tooth.
Here are seven ways to prevent cavities:
Learn proper brushing techniques.
Brushing your teeth is vital to dental health and is a tip you have likely heard again and again. Brushing helps get rid of the bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities, so you should be brushing after meals and before bed. It’s especially important to brush before bed because the bacteria lingering on your teeth overnight can cause acid to form and damage the enamel. You should use a soft bristle brush and place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums. Replace your toothbrush every three months to ensure that bristles will do the job.
Cut back on sugary drinks and acidic drinks.
Prolonged exposure to acidic or sugary drinks will increase your risk of cavities. The harmful sugar stays in your saliva over a long period of time unless you are brushing or drinking water. Drinking water can help prevent cavities because it removes food and bacteria left in your mouth.
Be in the habit of flossing.
No one likes to floss, but it’s an important habit to build. Even if you’re an avid brusher, you still aren’t cleaning the whole tooth. Flossing gets at those hard-to-reach places between your teeth and under your gum line. In order to start a flossing habit, pair it with something you love doing, such as flossing when watching TV. Since you can floss on the go, it’s a great habit to start after mealtimes.
Eat foods that are healthy for your teeth.
Some foods are better for your teeth than others. Foods like fresh vegetables and fruits can help increase the saliva flow to wash away food particles. On the other hand, try to avoid foods that can get stuck in the pits or grooves of your teeth for a long period of time. If you do eat these foods, then be sure to brush soon after and drink tap water that contains fluoride. Fluoride, which may not be present in bottled water, is essential for protecting your teeth against cavities.
Mouthwash does more than just freshen your breath; if it has fluoride, it helps protect against cavities, too. Vigorously rinsing with mouthwash will also loosen food particles that contribute to cavities.
Visit the dentist.
IGoing to the dentist is an important way to prevent cavities. If it has been a while since your last appointment, it’s time to schedule a visit. At the appointment, the dentist will take X-rays to examine your mouth and check for cavities. Regular teeth cleanings help keep your teeth in better condition by removing tartar buildup and plague, and your dentist may give you an in-office treatment to fight cavities. A dentist can also help you prevent cavities by giving you advice on how to properly care for your teeth at home. Schedule your appointment at Tru Family Dental today. While it’s recommended to visit twice a year, your dentist can work out a schedule that is right for you.
Consider fluoride treatments or sealants.
Both of these treatments are available at the dentist. Fluoride treatments can be helpful if you aren’t getting enough fluoride through drinking water or other sources. If you’re at high-risk for cavities, a dentist may recommend custom trays that will fit over the teeth for a prescription fluoride treatment. Your dentist may also recommend sealants, which are protective plastic coatings applied to the chewing surface of your back teeth. They can help seal off crannies and grooves that collect food to protect the enamel from acid and plaque. Sealants are good for school age children and can last for several years before they need to be replaced. Even though they last a long time, they do need to be regularly checked.
Anyone can get cavities, including infants, but they are more common in children, teenagers, and older adults.
Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips