How to Prevent Cavities: What You Should Know

Taking care of your teeth is important to prevent cavities and maintain good oral health. What is the best way to do that? Of course you know you should brush and floss your teeth, but even patients who do that may still develop cavities.

What causes cavities to develop and how can you prevent them? Here’s some helpful information, some of which may extend beyond what you already know about cavity prevention and dental hygiene.

The Basics of Cavity Prevention

Basic dental care is a combination of good oral hygiene habits at home and help from your dentist.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. Dental experts recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, in the morning and at night. However if you suffer from frequent cavities, brushing more often can be helpful, such as after you eat.
  • Floss your teeth once a day. Dental experts also recommend flossing once a day to remove plaque from between the teeth and just below the gum line. Cavities develop between teeth as often as other places.
  • Use cavity prevention mouthwash. Fluoride mouthwash is designed to provide extra protection against cavities. The fluoride fortifies your tooth enamel and mouthwash kills the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities.
  • Visit the dentist every 6 months. Dental experts also recommend going to the dentist every 6 months or twice a year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. Professional cleaning removes more plaque and tartar from your teeth than brushing alone can. Routine exams also include X-Rays at least once a year to detect the beginning of any cavities or other problems.

Additional Tips for Extra Defense

If you are already doing the above steps and you still develop cavities, these additional tips may help.

  • Consider your nutrition. Consuming sugary foods and beverages can increase your chances of developing cavities. Whereas eating crunchy vegetables and dairy products is good for your teeth.
  • Pay attention to your eating and drinking frequency. If you do consume sugary foods and drinks, try not to sip or snack constantly. Eat or drink and then allow a few hours to pass in between consumption. Your mouth has natural enzymes that protect the teeth. However, constant exposure to food and drink prevents these enzymes from forming and increases the amount of bacteria in your mouth, putting you at greater risk of developing cavities.
  • Use prescription strength toothpaste. Your dentist can prescribe toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride and other minerals to fortify your tooth enamel and make it more resilient to cavities.
  • Get an electric toothbrush. Studies show that electric toothbrushes remove more food particles and plaque from teeth than manual toothbrushes. Ask your dentist for recommendations on what brand and model to purchase.
  • Try a water pik or other specialized dental tools. A water pik is a dental tool that may help to keep your teeth clean. It sprays pressurized water to remove additional plaque from your teeth, especially between the teeth and in other hard to reach places.
  • Get a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding. Many people, knowingly or unknowingly, grind their teeth. Often it is done at night while sleeping. Grinding your teeth wears down the enamel and makes it more susceptible to cavities. Your dentist can make you a custom mouth guard or you can buy one over the counter to protect your teeth.

Smile Makers Comprehensive Dentistry Can Help You Avoid Cavities

Have you experienced frequent cavities? Or perhaps you have a cavity for the first time. If you want to prevent any more cavities in the future, Smile Makers can help. We can offer our best advice, equipment, and procedures to help you avoid cavities as much as possible. Visit us every 6 months for dental exams and cleanings and follow good oral hygiene habits in between for best results.

Call 334-277-5498 today to schedule a visit or request an appointment. We look forward to helping you maintain your oral health.