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How to Prevent Cavities

If you’ve ever had a cavity, you know firsthand that it’s not usually a pleasant experience, from the first twinge of a toothache to the dentist visit to get a filling. Cavities, also known as tooth decay, are a literal pain and can lead to more severe problems like oral infection or the loss of a tooth. Keep cavities at bay by following these simple steps.

Brush At Least Twice a Day

There’s a reason that we are taught from childhood how important it is to brush our teeth! This is one of the most effective ways to stave off cavities. Use a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride-infused toothpaste to clean your teeth at least twice a day, if not after every meal. Brush gently but thoroughly aiming at the gum line for two minutes and make sure that every tooth surface is properly cleaned. Even better, invest in an electric toothbrush, such as Sonicare or Oral-B!

Don’t Forget to Floss

Brushing helps get rid of bacteria on the surface of your teeth, but cavities can also form in the small spaces between your teeth if you don’t floss regularly. Take the extra step to remove food particles from these nooks and crannies to prevent decay. String floss works best — the floss picks are convenient, but they are best for on the go.

Limit Frequency of Sugary Foods and Drinks

Cavity-causing bacteria feed off sugar, producing acid that can damage your enamel and lead to tooth decay. Limiting your sugar intake is a great way to avoid cavities. Each time you eat or drink something sugary, your mouth enters a cavity forming zone for 30 minutes. If you can’t resist a sweet treat, try to consolidate with mealtimes and avoid sipping or snacking over extended time periods. Remember that many liquid cough medicines or cough drops contain sugar, so you’ll need to brush after using them before bed.

Consider Dental Sealants and Fluoride Treatments

If you are especially prone to developing cavities, you could benefit from dental sealants. This thin, resin coating adds an extra layer of protection when applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars. In office fluoride treatments are another great way to keep your smile cavity-free. A great benefit is fluoride treatments also reduce sensitivity.

Schedule Routine Cleanings at CarolinasDentist

Routine cleanings and biannual checkups are key to avoiding cavities. Our team can take a careful look at your teeth, give them a good clean, and identify any potential problems before they turn into something more serious. If you are diagnosed with a cavity, it’s best to treat it right away before it advances into a crown or root canal. CarolinasDentist serves patients of all ages, so choose us as your trusted family dentist to keep everyone smiling!

Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

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