Cavities are a pretty common dental condition – but they don’t have to be. They are caused when dental decay progresses to the point it damages your tooth enamel. Small cavities are easily treated with a filling, but larger ones may require a dental crown. If untreated decay gets inside your tooth, a root canal will be needed to save it. To avoid all of this, check out our five ways to prevent cavities:
- Brush and Floss Daily – Decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth interacts with substances like food debris. You need to remove plaque, the sticky substance that forms when this happens. Daily brushing and flossing is the best way to do so. Use a toothpaste with fluoride and brush for at least two minutes, two times a day. Floss once a day.
- Get Regular Professional Cleanings – Even with daily brushing and flossing, it’s tough to remove every bit of plaque from your teeth. Over time it hardens and turns into a cavity-causing substance called tartar. You can’t remove tartar with regular oral hygiene. That’s why it’s important to see us twice a year for cleanings. We use special instruments to eliminate it.
- Consider Preventive Treatments – We can treat your teeth with fluoride, which strengthens your enamel and makes it more resistant to cavities. For tough-to-clean areas like back teeth, we can apply dental sealants. These thin coatings create a barrier between teeth and bacteria.
- Drink Lots of Water – Water helps rinse away bacteria and food debris. It’s a much smarter beverage choice than sodas, which contain lots of sugars and acids that weaken your tooth enamel. If you can’t brush after meals, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water.
- Make Smart Dietary Choices – Fresh fruits and vegetables contain lots of water and fiber, which helps scrub away bacteria and other harmful substances. Cheese and other dairy products contain calcium and casein, both of which strengthen tooth enamel. Leafy greens also contain lots of vitamins and minerals that help boost dental health. Bonus: foods that are good for your teeth are good for the rest of you too.