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Dentistry 101: Preventing Cavities

June 6, 2017
Dentistry 101: Preventing Cavities

Dentistry 101: Preventing Cavities

Tooth decay occurs when acid attacks the tooth and causes the enamel to lose minerals. Bacteria creates these acids as it feeds on the sugar in your food. Sometimes the enamel is able to recover on its own, however it is possible that permanent damage in the form of a cavity can develop where the enamel is destroyed.

Cavities cannot heal on their own, and must be repaired by a dentist with a filling. If not treated, the tooth will continue to decay, causing pain, infection, and even tooth loss. The best way to protect your teeth from decay is to prevent cavities altogether.

Here are a few tips to help keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free:

Brush and floss daily

By brushing and flossing daily, you can disrupt the plaque buildup that eventually leads to cavities. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily.

Use toothpaste with fluoride

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, and even repair or stop tooth decay in its early stages. Fluoride works by preventing mineral loss in the teeth and also replacing lost minerals. Many public water supplies contain fluoride, making tap water another source for fluoride.

Think about what you eat

Bacteria feeds on the sugars in the food you eat, so consider what you’re eating. It’s best to avoid foods high in sugar and starch, as well as foods that get stuck in the grooves and between your teeth. Fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, help wash away food particles by increasing the flow of saliva.

Talk to your dentist about sealants

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that a dentist paints on your molars. Molars are rough with deep grooves that food gets easily stuck in, and sealants help smooth the surface over and act as a barrier protecting your teeth. Ask your dentist if sealants are a good option for you.

Visit your dentist regularly

Receiving regular cleanings and examinations from your dentist will help you prevent cavities as well as spot early signs of tooth decay. You should go to the dentist for a checkup every 6 months.

By following these tips, you can reduce your chance of suffering from tooth decay and prevent cavities. But if you do form a cavity, contact Dr. Myers and the Cannon Park Dental team to repair it quickly and help prevent any further damage.


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