Cavities (or dental caries) are the result of demineralization and damage to the hard tissue of your teeth. Cavities are usually found on the surface of your teeth but may also be located on exposed roots. Breakdown of the enamel is almost always the result of bacterial infection. If left untreated, cavities can cause serious damage to your teeth and even lead to dangerous infections within your mouth. In some situations, an abscess can form which will need to be treated with a root canal procedure. If you want your teeth and gums to stay healthy, then you must do what you can to prevent cavities. Here are a few key tips to help you do this.
Brush your teeth twice a day.
Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque from the surface of the teeth. Plaque is a biofilm formed by bacteria as it attempts to colonize on the surface of your teeth. If you do not brush your teeth regularly then this bacteria can break down the enamel and cause cavities.
Floss your teeth at least once a day.
Flossing helps remove harmful plaque and bacteria from between the teeth. These areas are particularly susceptible to infection since you cannot access them easily with brushing.
Avoid soft drinks and candy.
Soft drinks can wear down the enamel of your teeth and leave them more susceptible to infection. The sugar found in these products can stick to the surface of the teeth and make it easier for bacteria to thrive there.
Visit your dentist regularly.
Many cavities cannot be readily identified without an x-ray. If you don’t schedule an appointment at least twice per year, then you will not be able to identify cavities that can turn into much bigger problems.
Use a mouth rinse.
Mouth rinses can help kill harmful bacteria that are found in your mouth. Try to use a mouth rinse like Listerine after you brush your teeth.
Consider dental sealants.
A dental sealant is a coating that is applied to your teeth that will help protect your enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria. Sealants are safe for children and usually last up to 10 years before you need to replace them.
Use fluoride treatments.
If you don’t get enough fluoride in your drinking water then your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to protect your teeth. There are a number of fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses available from your local drug store.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods.
Processed foods are less healthy for your teeth than fresh fruits and vegetables. If you want to keep your teeth healthy, then you should focus on maintaining a healthy diet. Cavities can lead to much more serious dental conditions if you do not treat them early enough. If you want your teeth to stay healthy, then you should follow the tips we’ve listed above. Remember, prevention is always the best strategy when it comes to your dental health!