Tips for Preventing Cavities
The Center for Beautiful Smiles offers dozens of treatments to get your teeth in the best shape possible, but being proactive about your oral health is the best way to avoid dental problems before they start. Here are a few tips to prevent cavities and tooth decay and keep your teeth healthy between trips to the dentist.
Clean after every meal: You know you should be brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, but in an ideal world you’d be doing both after every meal. If that seems impractical (or even impossible), then don’t fret. You can still benefit from rinsing your mouth out with water after each meal. Doing something is better than doing nothing.
Brush correctly: Develop a routine that will create consistency every time you brush. Start in one area and end in another, so you know you’ve cleaned your entire mouth. And take your time. Brushing your teeth should take 2-3 minutes.
Be friends with fluoride: Fluoride is one of the single most effective killers of plaque buildup on your teeth and gums, so it should be a staple in your oral care routine. Every time you brush your teeth, it should be with fluoride toothpaste. Reach those hard to reach areas and protect your teeth with a quick fluoride rinse. Even drinking tap water can help, as most of it is infused with some amount of fluoride.
Eat this, not that: Some foods and beverages are better for you than others. Tea, unsweetened coffee, and sugar-free gum can wash away food particles after meals. Same with fresh fruits and vegetables, which can increase saliva flow. But you want to avoid too many foods that get stuck in your teeth, as those danger areas become more likely to have problems if there’s food stuck there for long periods of time.
Avoid snacking: Grazing at your desk with snacks and soft drinks not only prevents you from cleaning your teeth between meals but also can lead to the development of acidic mouth bacteria that can break down tooth enamel over time.
Don’t smoke: In addition to raising your risk of lung and oral cancer, smoking also increases your likelihood of cavities. When the toxins from smoke enter your mouth, they become a breeding ground for bacteria. Those bacteria then create acid that wears down your tooth enamel, which can lead to both cavities and gum disease.
If you’re young, think sealants: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all school-age children get sealants. Applied to the back teeth, these protective plastic coatings seal off grooves that often collect food and last up to a decade before being replaced.
Antibacterial treatments may help: Unsurprisingly, genetics plays a part in your dental hygiene. Some people, particularly those with specific medical conditions, find themselves prone to dental problems. In this case, it’s worth talking to your dentist about antibacterial treatments and mouth rinses as they can do a world of good.
Visit your dentist regularly: Despite your best efforts, there’s only so much you can do at home. Regular teeth cleanings and oral exams are necessary to maintain proper oral health, regardless of the strength of your daily routine. So make sure you schedule your bi-annual cleanings at the Center for Beautiful Smiles so you can keep on top of your oral health.