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How to Prevent Cavities
Cavities are a common dental issue that affects millions of people. They are the result of tooth decay, which occurs when acids from plaque and bacteria, as well as certain foods and drinks, sit on the surfaces of your teeth for too long. These acids begin to eat away at your tooth enamel, causing weak spots. These weak spots continue to worsen, leading to pits, or cavities. While cavities can, and should, be treated, it is important that you take action to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Brush and Floss Daily
Preventing cavities starts at home with regular brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brushing helps to eliminate plaque, bacteria, and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth and flossing helps to eliminate buildup from between your teeth. When you brush, make sure that you brush all surfaces of your teeth and brush for a full two minutes. When you floss, you should make sure that you floss between each tooth as well as behind your very back teeth.
The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
In addition to your oral care routine at home, it is also important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined every six months. Cleanings help to eliminate buildup from the surfaces of your teeth that you might not be able to reach properly on your own. Exams allow us to spot early warning signs of decay so that we can take the appropriate action to prevent decay from turning into cavities.
Fluoride is an essential element in your teeth that help to prevent decay in your enamel. While you can get fluoride from oral care products and treated water, these sources may not be enough. We can provide you with fluoride treatments. Treatments help to remineralize your teeth, making it easier for them to fight acid erosion.
Sealants are another treatment for cavity prevention that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars. With this treatment, we can help prevent buildup in the deep crevices of your molars, where you might not be able to effectively reach with your toothbrush. In addition to sealing the crevices, sealants also help to make your teeth easier to maintain.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A well-balanced diet can help to keep your teeth, your mouth, and your whole body, healthy. There are certain types of foods that should be included in your diet that can help to prevent cavities. Dairy contains calcium, which is essential for strong teeth and bones. Cheese, in particular, can help to stimulate salivary flow. Hard, crunchy fruits and vegetables act like a natural toothbrush, scrubbing your teeth as you chew. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals that can help to keep your body strong and healthy.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water helps to ensure that you stay hydrated. It helps to maintain a healthy salivary flow. Saliva aids in digestion, washing away food particles and sugars and helps to kill and remove oral bacteria. Additionally, treated water contains fluoride, which helps to restore the fluoride your teeth lose every day.
Taking steps to prevent tooth decay and cavities helps you to maintain the health of your mouth and can also help to prevent more serious consequences such as infections and tooth loss. If you have any questions or concerns about preventing cavities, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC today at (860) 331-8748.