26 Oct Top 5 Ways To Prevent Cavities
Cavities can have serious consequences for your oral health, potentially resulting in painful abscesses or even tooth loss. To avoid these consequences, you should do everything possible to prevent tooth decay from developing in the first place.
Fortunately, there are a number of actions that patients can take to prevent cavities. If you do develop a cavity, you should act quickly to get treatment from your dentist. Small cavities can be treated conservatively, while larger areas of decay require more involved restorations.
How Cavities Develop
Cavities are caused by oral bacteria. Although your tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, it can still be broken down by the strong acids produced by oral bacteria. This process creates tiny holes in the tooth that continue to grow larger as decay progresses.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk of this outcome.
Top Cavity Prevention Strategies
Here are some of the strategies that are most effective at preventing cavities.
- Practice good oral hygiene habits: Follow the oral hygiene routine recommended by your dentist. At a minimum, this includes brushing and flossing. Other tasks, like rinsing with anti-bacterial mouthwash, also may be recommended.
- See your dentist twice each year for professional cleanings: Even if you’re diligent about your daily oral hygiene practices, you still may accumulate plaque and tartar in areas of your smile that are hard for you to reach. A dental hygienist can thoroughly clean those areas and remove any plaque and tartar buildup.
- Limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages: Oral bacteria feed on sugar, so when you restrict these items, you’ll be reducing the nutritional source that bacteria thrive on.
- Stay hydrated: Your saliva supply is essential to clearing away oral bacteria, so make sure that you are drinking enough water to avoid getting dehydrated. This is particularly important if you have a medical condition or take a medication that predisposes you to dry mouth.
- Replace worn restorations: Cavities can develop under old or damaged fillings and other restorations. Have those replaced if needed.
Cavity Treatment Options
Sometimes patients still develop cavities even if they work to prevent them. The key in such cases is to get treatment early in the decay process, while the cavity is still small enough to be restored using a filling.
Our practice provides mercury-free fillings, which eliminate the use of potentially toxic materials and offer patients a more attractive tooth-colored alternative. We can also remove and replace old amalgam fillings with more aesthetically pleasing composite materials.
Call Kozlow & Rowell Dentistry to schedule a routine checkup or get more information on the strategies that you can use to prevent cavities.