How Can I Prevent Cavities?
Cavities are damaged areas on the surface of teeth that look like tiny holes. Cavities are the result of tooth decay, which affects both the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth. Decay happens when foods containing sugars are left on your teeth for a prolonged amount of time. This happens because the bacteria in your mouth turns sugars into acids, which then combines with saliva to create plaque. When plaque sits on or between your teeth, it slowly dissolves the enamel of your teeth, resulting in cavities. When untreated, cavities can lead to larger oral health issues like root canals, tooth rotting, and gum infections. In some serious cases, infections from cavities can spread from your mouth to other parts of the body and can become extremely serious. It’s extremely important to both your oral and overall health to try and avoid cavities, and there are several ways you can stop them from happening.
Tips On Cavity Prevention
The best way to avoid getting cavities is by keeping up good at-home dental hygiene. You can do this by brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. You should be brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste and making sure that you brush in between eating your last meal of the day and going to bed. Another great way to prevent decay is to rinse your mouth everyday with a fluoride-containing mouthwash. Many mouthwashes are made to kill the bacteria that causes plaque, in turn preventing tooth decay and cavities. Another way to prevent tooth decay is to make sure you are eating a balanced, nutritious diet. Try to avoid carbohydrates and sugars as much as possible, because those are the types of foods that create plaque and cavities. Drinking tap water is also a good way to help prevent cavities because it usually contains fluoride. Finally, you should be sure to see your dentist every six months for a check-up. Your dentist will make sure that your oral health is in good shape, and may recommend dental sealants which are a protective coating on your teeth used to combat cavities.
Contact Gentle Dental
If you’re located in southern Maine and believe you may have a cavity or have questions about them, contact Gentle Dental! With locations in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham, Gentle Dental is happy to provide Maine with friendly and professional family dentists. Give us a call at one of our locations or fill out the new patient form on our website!