Cavities are small holes in your teeth caused by decay. These permanently damaged areas need treatments like fillings. If untreated, cavities can cause infections and even tooth loss! How do you prevent cavities from happening in the first place? Here are five ways to lower your risk of developing cavities:
1. Brush & Floss Every Day
When plaque builds up on your teeth, the bacteria produce acid. Acid chews into your enamel and causes cavities! Brushing at least twice daily prevents plaque from building up on your tooth’s surface and along your gum line. To remove the plaque between your teeth, floss at least once every day.
2. Visit the Dentist for Routine Cleanings & Exams
Everyone should visit the dentist at least once every six months for cleanings and exams. Dentists remove tartar, which is hardened plaque, and spot teeth that are vulnerable to cavities. If cavities are caught early enough, you can reverse the demineralization process with improved oral hygiene.
3. Get Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a natural mineral that encourages enamel growth and fights cavities. It’s found in ADA-approved toothpaste and mouthwash, but you can also get fluoride treatments at the dentist. Dental insurance plans cover fluoride treatments for kids, but they’re still very affordable, and beneficial, for adults.
4. Get Sealants
Your back teeth have lots of grooves and crevices where bacteria and plaque can build up. Sealants, which are thin coatings painted on your teeth, shield your molars from bacteria. Sealants should be placed on kids’ molars as soon as they erupt, but adults also benefit if their sealants are missing or worn out.
5. Cut Back on Sugary Foods & Beverages
Cavity-causing bacteria feed on carbs, which are found in many foods, including healthy ones. However, if you want to lower your risk of developing cavities, you can cut back on carb-heavy, sugary foods and beverages. That includes soft drinks, candy, baked goods, and other sweets. While sugary foods increase your cavity risk, foods high in protein and calcium are good for strengthening enamel.
Protect Your Oral Health at River Vista Dentistry in Charlotte, NC
Many people get cavities, but you can significantly lower your risk by following our tips in this blog! Regular exams are especially important as they’re the only way to know if you’re at risk for cavities or already have tooth decay. Please contact us today if you want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marshall!