We all want to avoid cavities and the discomfort and inconvenience they cause. But what are cavities and what causes them? Cavities are what happens when the hard surface of your tooth, the enamel, decays or becomes damaged, and a hole forms. There are many things that can cause cavities, but the good news is that there are also many easy ways to prevent cavities.
1. Take Good Care of Your Teeth and Gums
The first step to preventing cavities is to take good care of your teeth and gums. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, or after each meal, for two minutes at a time. Flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day is also recommended to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Keeping your teeth and gums clean of plaque and debris from food throughout the day, and especially after eating, is important because plaque and debris combine with the saliva in your mouth to create acid which is what leads to tooth decay that can progress to cavities.
2. Make Healthy Food and Drink Choices
It’s not only important to clean your teeth after eating, but other ways to prevent cavities with looking at other habits, such as what you eat. Avoiding food and drinks loaded with sugar and carbs and adding in more fruits and vegetables are all good options to help support the health of your teeth and gums and may also benefit your whole body health as well.
Sugar is a big contributor to tooth decay and cavities so if you’re craving something sweet, sugar free sweeteners can be a good choice. Xylitol is an alternative sweetener that can actually interact with the saliva in your mouth in a way that might help reduce bacteria and benefit your teeth and the health of your mouth. Some fruits and vegetables, like strawberries, can also have natural tooth whitening properties, in addition to being healthier options than candies and artificial sweets.
3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
It’s also crucial to see your dentist for a routine exam and professional cleaning regularly. This is usually recommended every 6 months for optimal benefit and prevention of problems that can arise quickly like cavities.
Seeing your dentist is one of the most important ways to prevent cavities because your dentist can help by spotting possible problem areas where plaque and tartar can accumulate that can easily be missed or difficult to clean thoroughly by even the best home dental care routine. Spotting issues early can help to prevent problem areas from turning into cavities.
When you visit your dentist, you can also ask for more information on ways to prevent cavities and help keep your smile bright and healthy and strong.
Call our 5th Street, Riverside, Galleria, Heights, Oak Forest, Rice Village, Richmond, Spring or Hulen dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.