Flossing and brushing twice a day are the building blocks of healthy teeth and gums. But, there is more you can do to ensure you don’t end up with an aching tooth or an even bigger problem. A cavity is defined as a permanently damaged area in a tooth that develops into a tiny hole causing uncomfortable pain. Healthy teeth and gums are within reach! Read on to learn more about how you can prevent cavities.
1. Brush and Floss Your Teeth
This first step sounds elementary. You’ve probably been brushing and flossing your teeth for as long as you can remember. But, it’s important that you are brushing in the correct way and with the right toothbrush.
Your mouth is home to microbes that recycle the nutrients from what you eat and drink. These microbes leave behind a biofilm waste in the form of dental plaque. This plaque allows the microbes to survive for a longer period of time which then enables them to decompose your tooth enamel and invite the possibility of a cavity. This bacteria can also negatively affect other parts of your body, such as heart disease if left untreated for long enough.
Brushing frequently cleans your mouth and gets rid of this bacteria. Be sure to brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day. The American Dental Association offers some helpful tips on how to brush your teeth correctly. Floss daily as well and use an antimicrobial mouthwash. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months and choose to use an electric toothbrush, if possible.
2. Cut Down on Sugary Foods and Drinks
The microbes in your mouth feed on the sugar that you ingest. Actively cutting down on foods that contain a high sugar content help to keep these microbes in check. The acidity from sodas, coffee, and tea can also break down tooth enamel making you more susceptible to a cavity or tooth decay.
Replace these foods and drinks with water or, if you’re unable to do this, rinse your mouth out with water after you enjoy these foods and beverages. Most tap water has added fluoride which is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps to make the outer surface of your teeth more resistant to acidic substances.
3. Know Your Dental History
Being knowledgeable about your and your family’s dental history is important because it gives you key insights into your genetics and likelihood to experience tooth decay. For example, some people are born without tooth enamel. Being aware of this information gives you the opportunity to be proactive as opposed to reactive when it comes to tooth health. Learning about your cavity risk level is done easily through a comprehensive dental exam. This can be done on a trip to your dentist.
4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Nothing is more helpful than a visit to the experts! We recommend you visit your dentist twice a year in order to be able to catch problem areas before they become disastrous. Routine cleanings and checkups also help to keep your teeth free from any unwanted bacteria.