Just about everyone has had this situation happen. You suddenly experience a pain in one of your molars. You go to the dentist and discover you have to have a cavity.
While you may think cavities are an issue with kids with sugar cravings, think again. Currently, 91% of adults have cavities. And it’s likely that adults aren’t stocking up on candy.
Cavities are caused by plaque. Plaque dissolves your teeth enamel, forming holes. Many adults don’t care for their teeth and remove the necessary plaque, making them at risk for developing cavities.
If you want to exercise cavity prevention, follow these 7 tips.
1. Brush Your Teeth
Yes, we’re going to revert back to grade school. Brush your teeth twice a day. You had to do it when you were a kid, and you have to have the same routine as an adult.
Brushing your teeth is the most basic way to remove cavity-causing plaque.
Brushing your teeth when you wake up removes the plaque caused the night before and brushing your teeth at night removes the plaque that formed during the day.
Always make sure you constantly change your toothbrush so your bristles are firm. If you use an electric toothbrush, certain brands have specialty brush heads you can purchase.
2. And Don’t Forget to Use Floss and Mouthwash
While brushing is the best thing you can do for your teeth, it’s not perfect. This is why your toothbrush needs its sidekicks. And those sidekicks are floss and mouthwash.
Unfortunately, plaque doesn’t only stick to the front and back of your teeth.
Bacteria can easily build around the sides and in-between your teeth. Your toothbrush can’t easily reach these places – but dental floss can.
But like your toothbrush, floss isn’t always perfect. Which is why mouthwash exists. Mouthwash can remove plaque and any oral bacteria. In other words, mouthwash cleanses the extra plaque that your toothbrush and floss didn’t get.
3. Use Toothpaste With Cavity Protection
Plaque causes cavities. Some adults develop more plaque than others; whether it’s their diet, lifestyle, or even their genes. If you take good care of your teeth and you’re still getting cavities, your toothpaste may be the blame.
There’s one reason why you should use a toothpaste with cavity protection: these kinds of toothpaste are made with more fluoride. Fluoride is a powerful ingredient that strengthens tooth enamel and kills plaque.
Keep in mind, over-the-counter toothpaste only contains a small percentage of fluoride. For best results, ask your dentist if you can get a prescription for a high-fluoride toothpaste.
4. Visit Your Dentist
Only 64.4% of adults visit the dentist. While many may not see the dentist due to financial reasons, most likely don’t see the dentist because they don’t suspect anything is wrong.
Even if you take good care of your teeth, visiting the dentist twice a year is essential.
Your dentist is the first one who can detect any dental problems, including cavities. The dentist can also deep clean your teeth and will prescribe additional treatments or medications if you have too much plaque.
If you let a cavity go too long without a filling, you risk a serious tooth infection and may need a root canal. This is an extremely painful and expensive experience.
5. Get Dental Sealants
If you tend to struggle with cavities, ask your dentist about dental sealants.
This is a plastic coating placed on the chewing surface of your back teeth. The coating morphs into your teeth and forms a shield. This helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.
Since the material is thin, you won’t experience any discomfort. Dental sealants make it harder for plaque to penetrate your tooth enamel and the sealants are extremely easy to clean.
If you maintain your sealants well and visit the dentist frequently, your sealants can last up to 10 years!
Keep in mind, sealants are better preventative measures. If you already have fillings in your molars, you’re not a good candidate for sealants.
6. Avoid Sugar
You’ve always been told that sugar is bad for your teeth. But do you know why?
Sugar itself doesn’t cause cavities.
Rather, sugar attracts bad bacteria that break down your tooth enamel. The bacteria sugar attracts includes Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus, both of them form dental plaque and destroy tooth enamel.
Fortunately, this bacteria isn’t permanent. You can easily remove this bacteria by brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and regularly visiting the dentist.
In other words, eating a piece of chocolate occasionally won’t cause a cavity. But eating several pieces of chocolate puts you at risk for developing cavities.
It’s still a general rule to avoid sugar. Refrain from consuming sugar snacks, beverages, and candy.
7. Drink More Water
Water is essential for many reasons. And one of those reasons is for your oral health.
But don’t just drink any water. If your county has safe tap water for drinking, switch to tap water. Many counties and cities added fluoride to their tap water supply.
You’ll get more fluoride in your teeth and the water helps flush out any bad bacteria in your mouth. Water also flushes out any extra sugar and food particles out of your mouth before bad bacteria develops.
Tap water also contains additional minerals that clean your teeth. Water is also sugar-free and necessary for your body. When you replace sugary drinks with water, you’ll notice an improvement.
Do Cavity Prevention Today
The type of lifestyle, diet, and genes contribute to cavity development. If you’re prone to cavities, you should exercise cavity prevention.
Start by brushing and flossing more, and incorporating mouthwash into your routine. Stop eating sugary foods and visit your dentist twice a year.
Use these tips and start developing good oral health practices. You’ll have healthier and better-looking teeth!
Are you in Birmingham, Alabama and are looking for a new dentist? We offer plenty of cleaning and cavity prevention services.