No one wants cavities. Luckily, you can do some simple things to minimize your risk of developing them. Here are five smart, easy ways to prevent cavities.
Whether you call it a cavity, caries, or tooth decay, it’s all the same and can lead to tooth loss. Most everyone is familiar with what cavities are, but many people don’t realize there are things they can do to reduce the likelihood of a cavity developing.
The highly trained experts at all of the locations of Solomon Family Dentistry can help you if you get a cavity, but we’d rather help you avoid needing our help! In this post, we discuss some simple changes you can make to minimize your risk of tooth decay.
Why cavities form
Tooth enamel, the clear coating covering your teeth, is the hardest substance in the human body. It keeps your teeth looking great, but more importantly, it creates a tight seal to keep bacteria away from your dentin — or soft interior of your teeth.
Each day, the acids and sugars in the foods and beverages you consume assault your enamel. Each time you eat, little bits of food remain on your teeth, mainly on the biting surface or between teeth. When those foods contain sugars and starches, the bacteria that live in your mouth thrive, feeding on them.
The combination of the food remnants, bacteria, and saliva forms plaque, a sticky substance that coats your teeth. The acids in the plaque slowly dissolve your enamel, creating holes and allowing bacteria to reach your dentin.
How to avoid cavities
Based on a better understanding of why cavities form, you probably already have some ideas about preventing them. Here are five effective ways to lower your risk of tooth decay:
1. Drink water with fluoride
You may love soda, coffee, and tea, and drinking those beverages occasionally is fine. However, by drinking water containing fluoride throughout the day, you’re rinsing away the food bits that attract bacteria that cause cavities and strengthening your enamel.
2. Brush, floss, rinse
Brushing and flossing (or using an interdental cleaner) are the best way to remove food particles from your teeth. You know you should brush twice a day and floss, but do you do it? Every day?
Using a mouthwash daily that contains fluoride is another way to protect your enamel. Many types of mouthwash also include ingredients to help get rid of the bacteria that can cause plaque.
3. Mind your diet
Avoiding sugary, starchy foods and drinks is an important step toward keeping your teeth healthy, but you can also make sure you’re eating nutritious, balanced meals. Good nutrition helps your teeth stay healthy.
Another dietary tip is to limit snacking. If you eat three healthy meals daily and brush afterward, there’s little opportunity for food particles to be stuck on or between your teeth.
4. Chew sugar-free gum
Along with regularly brushing, flossing, rinsing, and drinking water throughout the day, chewing sugar-free gum can help remove bacteria from your mouth and reduce your risk of cavities.
5. See your dentist regularly
Regular cleanings to remove plaque buildup are one of the best ways to avoid tooth decay. Your dentist may also suggest special mouthwash, sealants, or other treatments to keep your teeth healthy.
Get more tips
Our dentists are happy to provide additional tips tailored to your situation. Perhaps you have a job that makes it difficult to brush after meals or a family history of tooth decay. We can make suggestions for your circumstances. Plus, we’re always happy to see you.
Schedule your appointment at Solomon Family Dentistry today. We have five locations in Summerville and one in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, and we’re happy to serve you at any of them.