How to Prevent Cavities
Floss Daily, Brush Twice A Day, Eat A Healthy Diet
How to Prevent Cavities
Tooth decay poses serious problems for all age groups. From serious pain to loss of teeth, poor oral hygiene can have various negative and long-term implications. Cavities, the most common type of tooth decay, can be avoided by taking the right approach to oral health. Here are some of the best suggestions from the best local dentists to help prevent cavities for a healthier smile today. If you would like to discuss your dental health or need to schedule a dental check up contact a dentist near you today and they will be happy to see you.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy
How Cavities Form
Cavities are a form of tooth decay that result from an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria usually come from a build-up of food debris that are not brushed away properly. In these instances, the mouth becomes a feeding ground for the bacteria. These remnants of food eventually turn into plaque build-up on the surface of the teeth. As a by-product of this plaque build-up, the bacteria produce acid which ultimately eats away at the enamel of the teeth, resulting in a tiny hole, or cavity in the tooth. When there is poor dental hygiene, eventually cavities will form where the enamel has been eroded. Over time, the cavity will continue to wear away at the tooth and will even go down into the nerve, resulting in a pain that often leads to an emergency trip to the dentist.
Proactive Approach to Oral Care
Cavity prevention begins with a proactive approach to oral care. The first step of such a regime is to regularly brush one’s teeth. The proper way to brush the teeth is to do so at least two to three times a day, typically after each meal. Additionally, when brushing the teeth, it is important to thoroughly clean the entire surface of each tooth, brushing for at least 2-3 minutes at a time. Where most people go wrong is in brushing for only 30 to 60 seconds at a time, which is not long enough to clear the teeth of all of the food debris lodged between each tooth. Brushing in this manner will successfully remove not only the food that has built-up in the mouth, but it will also remove any lingering bacteria that may be present.
The Right Tooth Brush
U the appropriate tooth brush when brushing is very important. A tooth brush does not have to be fancy or expensive to get the job done right. However, no matter the type of tooth brush that is used it should be replaced at least every three months for the best outcome. Many dentists also suggest that soft tooth brushes should be used. Softer brushes encourage longer brushing times. This is especially important for younger children who may find harder bristles uncomfortable. After brushing the teeth, the toothbrush should be rinsed thoroughly and left out to dry. A wet tooth brush is a feeding ground for bacteria which can be easily transferred back into the mouth unintentionally during the next brushing.o:p>
Flossing the teeth regularly is another way to greatly reduce the risk of cavities. Brushing and flossing the teeth go hand-in-hand. Flossing is important because it reaches those tough areas in between the teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Some of the worst cavities that form are the ones that begin in between the teeth. This is a predicament because the acid can erode not one, but two teeth at the same time! Unfortunately, many people underestimate the importance of regular flossing. For optimum oral health, flossing should be a part of the daily dental routine, helping to prevent cavities even before they begin to form.
Importance of Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that helps with coating the enamel of the teeth, thereby preventing tooth decay. Fluoride reinforces the teeth, making them resistant to acid erosion. In short, fluoride slows down the process of acid decay and makes the teeth stronger. Fluoride can be found in popular tooth pastes and mouth rinses. Fluoride treatments can even be requested from the dentist on routine visits.
A Proper Diet
Many people have a sweet tooth or enjoy snacking frequently between meals. This can be detrimental to teeth as they are exposed to food items that can increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Being mindful of the types of food that are eaten is another way to prevent cavities before they begin. Bacteria will flourish on food remnants that are full or sugar or carbohydrates. These items tend to stick to the enamel of the teeth or become otherwise lodged in the grooves of the teeth. This results in an accumulation of plaque. Again, bacteria enjoy feeding off of plaque and will produce acid as a result, eventually leading to cavities. Therefore, it is important to avoid such foods in the first place or to counter them with regular brushing and flossing after these meals. Another good practice is to follow-up these meals with plenty of water to rinse away the remaining food that may be stuck in the teeth.
Regular Dental Visits
The presence of cavities can be significantly reduced by following an oral health routine that consists of regular visits to the dentist. It is recommended that people visit the dentist at least every six months for standard care. Even for those who brush and floss their teeth diligently it is still important to visit a dentist often. A dentist is trained to spot concerns with the teeth that may not be visible to the average person. For instance, cavities that are in the beginning stages may not be spotted during regular brushing. A dentist may have helpful suggestions to remedy these problems before they get worse.
Regular dental check-ups are also important because routine cleanings can quickly clear the teeth of plaque build-up. It is important to remove plaque because it will eventually harden and turn into tartar. Tartar is extremely difficult to remove without the help of a professional dentist. Tartar will erode teeth further, encouraging cavities and leading to even more decay. A dentist can solve these problems before they become a serious issue, and preventing cavities from ever forming in the first place. If it’s been a long time between dental visits, contact a dentist today to make an appointment.
Dental Care for Any Age
Prevent Cavities in Childhood
It is also important for different age groups to take appropriate steps towards their oral healthcare regimens. No matter if the person is a toddler, an active adult or a retired senior; everyone can be impacted by cavities. Here are some suggestions and ways in which children, adults and seniors can practice oral health and prevent cavities from forming.
Good oral hygiene begins at home. Parents can introduce dental best practices early on in childhood for a lifetime of healthy teeth. A child’s smile can be saved early on by encouraging regular brushing and flossing. Even very young children can be taught how to brush their teeth both regularly and properly. This will include having regular discussions with the child about the importance of tooth care as well as taking the child to routine dental visits to make sure the teeth are in the best health possible. Many dentists also suggest that small children brush their teeth with adults as a family activity. Not only will the child learn how to care for their teeth but they will also have fun while doing so.
It is also important to avoid sugary snacks and drinks during the early years where possible. When such a diet exists the child should be encouraged to drink plenty of water and to brush their teeth to clear their mouth of sticky treats and snack remnants to prevent cavities from forming. Drinking plenty of water that is fluoridated also helps in strengthening young teeth. It is critical that during the childhood years tooth paste or mouth wash that contains fluoride is used often to strengthen permanent teeth as they grow in. Some dentists may even recommend fluoride supplements for young children who are not exposed to the mineral regularly. Many children can go through their first set of teeth and also their permanent teeth without damage from cavities by following these simple suggestions.
Dental Care for Adults
Busy professionals may find it difficult to make time to brush their teeth often or to even make time for regular trips to the dentist. However, a good oral healthcare routine is important to keep teeth and gums in their best shape possible. As adults age, so do their teeth. Over time the teeth can become weak and more prone to decay. This is why it is so important for adults to practice good oral hygiene at home and then follow-up with their dentist every six months to ensure their teeth are in good health. A dentist will assess the state of the teeth which may include taking x-rays of the mouth, gums and jaws. The dentist will be able to quickly notice any weak areas within the teeth that reveal evidence of tooth decay. Adults can remedy these instances by brushing and flossing regularly, following a good diet and by using oral products that include fluoride for additional strength. Regular dental visits are very important because they provide adults with refreshers on the proper ways to brush their teeth as well as flossing techniques to apply during the day. For the best dental health see a top dentist near you today.
Dental Health for Seniors
As adults age, issues such as cavities that affect their teeth can become much worse. This is why it is so important for those over the age of 65 to maintain good oral health practices. A lifetime of such best practices can prevent tooth decay and loss later on in life. Senior citizens, just like children, are a sensitive age group when it comes to oral health. As people age they often lose their natural teeth. However, tooth loss due to cavities can be prevented by brushing at least twice per day, flossing after every meal, visiting the dentist regularly (even if the senior has dentures), limiting sugary foods, and visiting the dentist immediately if other symptoms arise such as tooth pain, jaw pain, oral sores or a dry mouth. These oral concerns could be tied to other healthcare concerns and should be addressed immediately with a physician.
The risk of cavities, no matter the age group, can be greatly reduced by taking all of these necessary steps into account. A good oral health routine promotes well-being for the healthiest set of teeth and gums possible.
There is no one best way to reduce the risk of cavities. Instead, there are a few important steps that can be taken for proper dental care, no matter a person’s age. Taking the necessary precautions towards dental healthcare can result in a healthy set of teeth and gums. Unfortunately, and all too often, people wait until it is too late, until after cavities have formed, to start healthy dental practices. While most people understand that brushing one’s teeth and flossing regularly are important, there are other important preventative steps that can be taken to avoid an unnecessary trip to the dentist’s office. These include eating a healthy diet and visiting the dentist often. With the proper oral health care regimen, patients can maintain the health of their teeth and feel at ease knowing they are preventing problems from occurring.
Most people understand how important dental health is. From brushing the teeth regularly to flossing after every meal to avoiding sugary foods—these are all important steps that can be taken for optimum oral health. Do not wait until it is too late and a cavity has already formed to visit the dentist. Be proactive and contact a dentist in your area today to make a routine appointment. Remember, that no matter one’s stage of life—from childhood to adulthood or even in the senior years—proper oral care and good dental hygiene can preserve the teeth, keeping them free of cavities and preserving the life of the teeth for years to come.