Cavities used to be considered an inevitable disease. Science now understands the causes of dental cavities. New research shows that we can treat this disease by attacking the bacteria and the oral environment that makes some people more susceptible to decay than others. You do not have to live with cavities, or the fear of getting them – for the rest of your life! – if you follow these tips:
Brush After Eating and Drinking
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride-containing toothpaste. If you can’t brush after eating, at least try to rinse your mouth with water.
Floss Or Use Little Brushes
The areas between your teeth need to be cleaned off as well. Traditional flossing or using some kind of interdental brush can clean these areas. Interdental brushes are available at your pharmacy.
Consider Dental Sealants
A sealant is a protective plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of back teeth – sealing off the grooves and crannies that tend to collect food in the teeth most likely to get cavities. The sealant protects tooth enamel from plaque and acid. Sealants can help both children and adults. Sealants last up to 10 years before they need to be replaced, though they need to be checked regularly to ensure they’re still intact.
Rinse your Mouth
If I feel that you have a high risk of developing cavities, I may recommend that you use a mouth rinse with fluoride.
Drink Tap Water
Adding fluoride to public water supplies has helped decrease tooth decay significantly. If you drink only bottled water that doesn’t contain fluoride, you’ll miss out on its benefits. Be sure to drink some tap water, too.
Chew Xylitol Sweetened Gum
Gum chewing keeps your saliva flowing. Saliva prevents cavities. Xylitol helps reduce plaque and can’t be used by bacteria to produce acid leading to cavities.
Eat Tooth Healthy Food
Some foods and beverages are better for your teeth than others. Avoid foods that get stuck in grooves and pits of your teeth for long periods, such as chips, candy or cookies. Instead eat food that protects your teeth, such as cheese, which some research shows may help prevent cavities, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables (which increase saliva flow), and unsweetened coffee, tea and sugar-free gum, which help wash away food particles.
Consider Fluoride Treatment
Use fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash. At the office we can give you a professional fluoride treatment where we apply concentrated fluoride to your teeth for several minutes.
If you are especially vulnerable to tooth decay, I may recommend special antibacterial mouth rinses.
Have your Teeth Professionally Cleaned
Getting professional tooth cleanings and regular oral exams can help prevent problems or spot them early.
Tooth decay and cavities are both easily preventable by implementing these tips into your daily life. I can personally guide you through the process for creating better dental habits and a healthy smile. Schedule a consultation today and feel free to call us at (303) 544-9636 for additional information.
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