Cavities, also known as tooth decay or holes in your teeth is a common issue amongst children, adolescents, and adults across the United States.
While more than half of children and adolescent populations have experienced a cavity before, 1 in 4 adults ages 20-64 are currently living with untreated cavities.
Cavity prevention is important, once you develop a cavity you have already begun to destroy your enamel which is the outer layer of your teeth. This can cause a lot of pain on the affected teeth as well as an infection.
If you go too long without treating cavities, you can even lose the affected teeth. Here we’ll share 5 essential cavity prevention tips that everyone should know about.
1. Visit the Dentist
One of the best ways to prevent cavities is to go to the dentist every six months. Dentists are trained to do comprehensive dental exams which can determine what your cavity risk level is.
You can also take this cavity risk assessment quiz and discuss the results with your dentist. Doing so and getting regular deep cleanings at the dentist can improve your overall dental health and even help catch issues during the early stages.
2. Brush Your Teeth Regularly
I know you’ve heard this a million times, but you need to brush your teeth at least two times a day for a couple of minutes. It’s most beneficial to brush after you eat and before bed.
Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste removes food and plaque which can eventually create bacteria and enamel-eating acid which causes cavities. Additionally, you need to floss and use mouthwash regularly.
3. Choose the Right Toothbrush and Techniques
For most people, toothbrushes with soft bristles are the safest. Brushing with medium or hard bristles can damage both the enamel and your gums.
Also, ensure you are using gentle strokes and using the tip of your brush to clean the inside of your front teeth. Lightly brush your gums and tongue, and replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
4. Get Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen your enamel and prevent cavities. A fluoride treatment involves applying fluoride directly to the teeth for a few minutes.
After the treatment, avoid drinking and eating to ensure your teeth absorb the fluoride. If you’re at high risk of cavities you can benefit from 2 treatments a year.
5. Reduce Sugary and Acidic Drinks
Drinks like coffee for example, with lots of sugars or even added milk, can stick to your saliva and therefore your teeth.
Both sugar and acid eat at your enamel and cause cavities. Consider reducing these types of drinks, drinking water right after, or rinsing your mouth.
Start Taking Cavity Prevention Measures Today
Cavity prevention means preventing a chronic disease that can turn into a life of fillings, crowns, and root canals. Apply these tips today to achieve optimal dental health.
If you enjoyed reading this article, make sure to read from our other sections! We cover everything from health awareness and nutrition to yoga and beauty.