Cavity Prevention in a Few Easy Steps
Cavities are the most common and thus most annoying tooth problem all of us eventually have to face. However, it doesn’t have to be a losing battle that we’re fighting! There’s always something you can do to give yourself the upper hand and keep tooth decay in check, which is why we’re sharing some of the important tips on how to prevent cavities.
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What Are Cavities?
In layman’s terms, cavities are nothing more than holes in your teeth. If you’ve ever spotted white, brown, or black spots on your teeth, usually on top of them, you know precisely what we mean. The brighter these spots are, the more recent they are, and the easier it is to manage them. But, they get bigger and darker over time, eventually causing pain and sensitivity and even leading to tooth loss if not treated properly.
What Causes Them?
The root cause of cavities is simple to pinpoint — it’s bacteria. When you eat, the food gets stuck on and between your teeth, eventually leading to plaque build-up and decay. The main culprit? Sugar. When you consume sugary food, bacteria make use of the sugar residue to make acid, which is directly responsible for tooth decay. At first, the damage is localized and stays on the surface, but it can eventually reach even the pulp. When that happens, it is very unlikely that the tooth will survive.
How to Prevent Them?
Understanding cavity prevention is of the essence, even if your teeth are healthy. Why? Because everyone is at risk: young, old, men, women — we all have similar diets these days, and our teeth are ultimately the same. Of course, your genetic background and oral health history will play a significant role, but the point remains that no one is immune. Luckily, though, there are several steps you can follow to build a good dental care routine and minimize the chances of cavities.
- Brush Your Teeth
First, the obvious part — teeth brushing. You have probably heard about the importance of brushing your teeth countless times already, but there is a good reason for that. Namely, it is both the simplest and most effective strategy for fighting cavities. All you have to do is brush your teeth at least twice a day (although, ideally, you would do it after every meal) with fluoride toothpaste and a good-quality toothbrush.
Make sure you are thorough, too. Brush the top, the sides, and the back of your teeth if you can. Paying attention to all the crevices will help remove the stubborn plaque, and doing it more than once a day will ensure it doesn’t come back.
Brushing might be crucial, but it is not magical, and it will not be enough if you want to go to the utmost lengths to ensure your smile remains pristine. That is, you simply cannot reach the tight space between your teeth with a brush, no matter how fine it might be. That is why flossing is the second most important step towards great oral hygiene. Ideally, you should try flossing before and after you have brushed your teeth. Try avoiding those flossing sticks, though. They are usually too short, and you’ll only be spreading bacteria around your mouth. Instead, use those traditional flossing strings, and be generous with them!
When you’re done brushing and flossing, you can use mouthwash as a finishing touch. The main benefits? A fresh breath, an overall fantastic feeling in your mouth, and, of course, greatly reduced chances of cavities. A good mouthwash kills bacteria and helps remove any remaining food particles that might have gotten stuck or that you might have missed while cleaning your teeth. It will also help calm down your gums and fight inflammation as well as prevent any plaque build-up, thanks to its alcoholic properties. Keep in mind, however, that using a mouthwash or cleanser should never replace brushing and flossing — it should only complement it.
- Watch Your Diet
This is seemingly another no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people think they can outrun a bad diet. Certainly, a meticulous dental cleaning routine will mitigate the effects of poor eating habits, but all the processed and sugary food we consume will eventually catch up with us. To avoid most potential problems in the future, try limiting your sugar consumption. That means cutting back on sodas, energy drinks, candy (especially hard candy that can crack your teeth!), and your favorite snacks. Try drinking lots of water instead, and try sticking to fruits if you have a sweet tooth.
- Book Regular Dentist Appointments
As we’ve alluded to, cavities often start as bright white spots on the upper part of the tooth. That means you can’t always spot them on your own before they become a more serious problem. But a dentist can.
Regular dentist check-ups are the most surefire method of preventing and curing cavities should they appear. A dentist will clean and maintain your teeth and mouth and make sure everything is in order to take your worries off your mind. They will also give you additional hygiene tips and even prescribe supplements that will help your teeth stay healthy for years to come. Naturally, they will also be your consultant, discussing various cosmetic methods with you, such as veneers, that will help you get your beautiful smile back in no time.