Cavities can be painful, unsightly and expensive to treat. Preventing tooth decay and keeping the cavity creeps away should be high on your list of priorities. At Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster, we treat numerous patients every month for cavities and other issues related to tooth decay. Many of our patients feel like kicking themselves when they realize how easy it is to prevent tooth decay in the first place. Keep reading to find out how to avoid the discomfort and inconvenience of cavities in your teeth.
Cavities occur when the outer layer of enamel on your tooth gets eaten away by bacteria that feed on sugar. This usually presents as a hole in the tooth, often on the chewing surface of molars or on the inner surface of your teeth. The bacteria can dissolve the hard enamel and the layer of dentin beneath it. If the decay reaches beyond this layer, you will be left with exposed nerve endings that can cause considerable pain. Many people don't realize they have a cavity until they feel this pain.
The easiest way to prevent tooth decay is to pay attention to your eating habits and make sure you have a good dental hygiene routine. Some people are more susceptible to cavities than others. If you have thin enamel or have already suffered from one or more cavities, be extra cautious.
Bacteria on your teeth feed on sugar and produce an acid that dissolves your enamel. To keep your teeth strong and healthy, it is best not to allow sugar or acid sit on the surface of your teeth for too long. This means brushing your teeth regularly, at least once in the morning and once at night. If you are eating sweet or sticky foods, eat them in one sitting and brush your teeth afterward. Do not snack on sweets throughout the day.
In addition to brushing your teeth, also remove the food particles that get stuck between your teeth each day. This can be done with floss or interdental cleaners. Removing food particles is particularly important, as carbohydrates that remain in the crevices between teeth will provide a welcome place for bacteria to thrive and cause damage where you cannot easily see it. If you are unsure how to clean your teeth correctly using these tools, your dentist or hygienist can help you.
According to the AmericanDental Association, regular exposure to fluoride keeps your enamel strong and helps prevent decay. Use fluoridated toothpaste, a mouthwash containing fluoride, and drink fluoridated water. Check with your dentist about the appropriate amount of supplemental fluoride for children.
Yes, preventing tooth decay and keeping the cavity creeps away is that easy. And don’t forget regular visits to Bertagnolli Dental in Westminster for oral exams and professional cleanings. Of course, if you find yourself with tooth decay, cavities or any other issues, we offer affordable and permanent solutions to restore your health and your smile. Get in touch for an appointment or to learn more about dental seals and restorative dental services such as fillings and crowns.