Cavities can form when bacteria feast upon your dietary sugar and produce toxins that damage your tooth enamel. If untreated, cavities grow bigger and can lead to problems like tooth loss and infection. How do you avoid them? Here are five tips:
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
Good oral hygiene is essential to cavity prevention. It’s best to brush at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride, which is a natural mineral that fortifies your teeth against decay. Brush for two minutes each time, making sure to get every tooth. Brush your tongue too!
Floss Every Day
Cavities can form in the spaces between your teeth so you want to floss once a day. Use a gentle C-motion to scrape against each tooth. If it’s been a while since you flossed, you might notice some bleeding and swelling. This is a sign you have mild gum disease but keep flossing every day and your gums should heal. When flossing, make sure to use a clean piece of floss for each tooth or you’ll end up spreading bacteria around.
Snacking through the day – or “grazing” – can cause cavities. This is because every time you eat, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid. When you’re eating all day, your teeth never get a break from all the acid. To reduce your mouth’s acidity, avoid all-day snacking. When you do eat a snack, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
Don’t Use Tobacco Products
Smoking and chewing tobacco are both known to worsen dry mouth symptoms, which can lead to cavities. Tobacco use can also cause gum disease and oral cancer. If you want to improve your oral health, quitting tobacco products will make a huge difference.
Visit the Dentist at Least Twice a Year
Only a dentist can diagnose cavities so it’s important to come in for professional cleanings and exams at least twice a year. We can identify cavities early, as well as areas of your mouth that are vulnerable to decay. We also remove plaque and tartar to decrease your risk of dental disease.
While great oral hygiene and professional cleanings can help prevent cavities, we’re also here if you need treatment! We offer a range of dental services at our office, including general dentistry, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. If you have any questions about us or want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Phillips, please contact us today.