Cavities are an incredibly common dental issue. Generally associated with children, they can affect anyone of any age. Cavities develop as a result of tooth decay. Decay occurs when the acids from plaque and bacteria erode your protective tooth enamel, leading to weak spots. These weak spots eventually lead to the formation of small pits, or cavities. At Water's Edge Dental, we can provide treatment for cavities to restore your oral health. We can also help you to prevent cavities from developing in the first place.
Cavity Prevention at Home
Cavity prevention starts at home with a good oral hygiene routine. To prevent cavities, it is essential that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day. When you brush your teeth, make sure to use a soft bristled toothbrush and brush for at least two full minutes. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and the chewing surfaces.
When you floss, make sure that you work the floss carefully between each of your teeth. Do not snap the floss against your gums or force it too hard. This can cause irritation and bleeding. Make sure that you floss between all of your teeth and behind your very back teeth. An antibacterial mouthwash can also help to kill bacteria in your mouth.
Maintain Regular Dental Appointments
In addition to brushing and flossing, it is important that you have a professionally cleaning and exam every 6 months. Cleanings allow us to eliminate buildup from the surfaces of your teeth to prevent decay and cavities from developing. With exams, we can spot areas of decay and take action to reverse them before cavities form. We can also spot cavities when they are first getting started, which enables us to treat them before they become larger.
Sealants are a preventative treatment that involves the application of a synthetic material over the chewing surfaces of your molars. These surfaces consist of deep grooves and crevices that can capture bacteria and food particles. They are also more difficult to clean properly, leaving them vulnerable to cavities. Sealants effectively seal these crevices, preventing buildup from accumulating. They also help to make your teeth easier to maintain.
Fluoride is an essential element in your teeth. It works with the other minerals in your teeth to keep your enamel strong, allowing it to fight off acid attacks that cause decay. It is recommended that you use a fluoridated toothpaste to help keep your teeth strong and healthy. If you are still developing cavities, we can help to further prevent decay with professional fluoride treatments. These treatments involve the application of a fluoride gel directly to the surfaces of your teeth. The enamel absorbs into your tooth enamel where it goes to work strengthening your teeth.
Eat a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet
A healthy, well-balanced diet can help to keep your teeth strong and healthy. While sugar is not directly responsible for cavities, it does provide food for the bacteria that produce decay-causing acids. Limit your sugar consumption, as well as your consumption of carbohydrates, which break down into sugars. Certain types of foods, such as hard, crunchy fruits and vegetables and dairy products, are not only good for your overall health, they are also excellent for your teeth. Crunchy fruits and veggies act as natural toothbrushes, scrubbing your teeth as you chew them. Dairy helps to neutralize acids and stimulates saliva production.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products can do more than just stain your teeth. These products can also have a significant impact on your oral health as well. Tobacco products make plaque stickier, which enables it to more easily collect harmful bacteria. With more bacteria on your teeth, your risk for cavities increases. To protect your oral health and your overall health, it is recommended that you quit smoking and other tobacco products.
Taking care of your mouth is essential for preventing the development of cavities. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call Water's Edge Dental at (208) 391-8554 today.