Is there really a way to avoid cavities? Maybe not completely, but there certainly are steps everyone can take to minimize the risk of cavities and avoid tooth decay. Read on to learn more.
Brush And Floss Regularly
Dental hygiene is so important, and not just for maintaining fresh breath. By brushing and flossing regularly, you accomplish several things, including:
- Reducing the buildup of plaque: A layer that forms on your teeth and serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, plaque needs to be brushed away in order to avoid tooth decay.
- Strengthening the gums: Plaque also builds up on your gums; by brushing them, you remove plaque, which reduces the risk of gum disease, and you also increase blood flow to them, which keeps them healthier.
- Removing bacteria from your mouth: Bacteria also accumulate on your tongue and inside your cheeks, so be sure to gently brush these regions to get rid of decay-exacerbating bacteria.
- Getting rid of trapped foods: Both brushing and flossing are essential for removing food particles that get stuck in between teeth and in the teeth’s tiny crevices; if these particles aren’t removed, bacteria multiply, and tooth decay happens (so does gum disease).
As you can see, brushing after meals, as well as when you wake up and go to bed, is an extremely healthy habit that can ward off the onset of cavities. Because brushing alone can’t quite reach everywhere, especially between the teeth, it’s important to floss regularly, too.
Eat Healthy Foods And Snacks
In a recent blog, we discussed which foods are healthy for teeth. These include the following:
Read why these foods are good for your dental health and what nutrients they pack by going to our post here. Then, be sure to include these healthy foods in your, and your family’s, diet.
Avoid Refined Sugars
While sugars in fruits like apples and pears are fine for you, the sugars you find in candies, sodas, pastries, and frozen treats contribute to tooth decay. By avoiding these sticky, overly sweet items, you will be doing your health a favor, including your dental health. In our post, “Snacks To Stay Away From To Maintain Dental Health,” we urge our patients to avoid crunchy, sticky sweets for two main reasons. First, the excess sugar found in these snacks feeds bacteria that build up on your teeth. And additionally, hard snacks can actually chip or crack a tooth. It’s best if you and your family stay away from snacks like these.
Get Professional Teeth Cleanings
While brushing and flossing are essential habits to practice daily for good hygiene, brushing alone won’t remove all of the plaque that forms on your teeth. That’s why professional teeth cleanings are so important. A dental hygienist can remove whatever plaque is left behind even with good brushing techniques.
Schedule Regular Checkups
By seeing your family dentist regularly (preferably every six months), you have a much better chance of catching and treating cavities before they grow large. Smaller cavities are easier to treat; it’s usually just a matter of doing a small filling. However, larger cavities lead to more tooth decay that can also spread to the gums, and is harder to treat overall. Untreated cavities can grow and lead to worse problems, requiring more involved treatment methods (such as crowns or root canals). When a cavity is caught early, it can be treated right away through less involved procedures.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, schedule your next appointment today! At Dental Savers in Fairless Hills, we offer gentle dentistry to patients of all ages. Give us a call today!