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(810) 515-8952

Family Dental Group
4021 Miller Road, Flint, MI 48507

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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

Almost everyone has been there. It’s late at night, you’re exhausted, and you have to get up extra early, so you’re tempted to skimp on your nightly oral hygiene regimen or skip it altogether. Don’t do that. Of all the tasks that you could skip, your oral hygiene shouldn’t be on the list.

Although most of us don’t consider the importance of our oral hygiene regimen or its impact on our physical health, the two are inextricably linked. Poor oral health has been linked to serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease and premature death, diabetes, dementia, and several types of cancer. Maintaining your good oral health will decrease the likelihood of developing tooth decay and cavities as well as periodontal disease, which is the leading factor in losing your teeth.

When you eat, the bacteria in your mouth combine with the food particles to begin the first stage of your digestive process. As a result, acids form. When the acid and food particles aren’t removed through brushing and flossing, they begin to attack your tooth enamel, and decay and cavities result. If you notice a small hole in your tooth, then you probably have developed a cavity.

When your cavity is small, you can usually get a filling, and your tooth will be restored to health. However, if you neglect the small hole, the cavity will enlarge, and you may need a cap because large fillings are more prone to failure. If the decay progresses to the pulp of the tooth, then you’ll most likely need a root canal and a crown to save the tooth.

Are There Tips on Preventing Cavities?

Make sure you don’t skimp or skip your oral hygiene regimen. Although your teeth won’t immediately fall out, skimping or skipping good oral habits can increase your risk of developing serious physical diseases as well as oral diseases such as gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease. The following tips can help you maintain good oral health for a lifetime.

  1. Regular brushing: The American Dental Association recommends that you brush and floss at least twice daily as well as after eating, whether it’s a meal or a snack. Use a fluoridated toothpaste and brush for two minutes each time. If that’s not possible, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water.
  2. Use mouthwash daily: Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least daily to remove any residual bacteria that remain after brushing and flossing. Be sure your mouthwash carries the ADA seal of approval.
  3. Get regular dental checkups: Dental checkups are one of the most important aspects of your oral health. Your dentist may catch minor issues before they escalate, and they can provide you with tips on how to have the healthiest mouth possible.
  4. Use topical dental treatments: Many types of topical dental treatments are available that can help protect your teeth from acids and decay. Ask your dentist for a recommendation.
  5. Eat healthy, tooth-friendly foods: Some foods promote healthier teeth than others, and they’re usually the same foods that promote a healthy body. Dairy, cheese, black coffee or tea, high-fiber fresh fruits and vegetables, and sugar-free gum have properties that can result in healthier teeth and a healthier body.
  6. Drink tap water: Anymore, people drink bottled water rather than tap water. Unfortunately, most bottled water brands don’t have the minerals that your teeth need to remain healthy. If you drink bottled water exclusively, then drink some tap water each day. Most cities and counties now fluoridate their water supply, so drinking some tap water will provide your body with the minerals it needs.
  7. Get advice from your dentist: Your dentist has years of training and experience, so ask them for tips on maintaining the best oral health possible. They’ll be happy to share with you.

What Are Effective Treatments for Cavities?

If you develop a cavity despite your best intentions, then your dentist will probably recommend one of the following treatments, depending on the size and location of the cavity:

  • Fillings: If you have a small cavity, your dentist will most likely recommend a filling. They’ll remove the decayed area, clean it, and then place the filling. Several types of fillings are available, and the type used will depend on the location and size of the cavity.
  • Crowns: If you have a larger cavity, your dentist may recommend a crown. This involves removing the decayed part, cleaning it, and then making a mold of your tooth so they can order a crown. A crown looks and functions like your natural tooth and is used in lieu of a filling because large fillings have a high failure rate.
  • Root Canal: If your tooth decay has spread to the pulp, then you may need a root canal. This procedure requires removing the decayed part of the tooth as well as the root and the nerves. The area is cleaned, disinfected, rinsed well, and then the root is sealed. The canal is filled with gutta-percha, and then the entire tooth is covered with a crown.

Other types of treatments have been recently developed, including using fluoride or a sealant so that the decay doesn’t spread, and the use of fluorescent lights to detect tooth decay. Ask your dentist about new and innovative treatments for tooth decay and cavities.

The Best Method of All…

The best method for preventing cavities is prevention. This means good oral hygiene without skipping days and dedication to maintaining good oral health. Never underestimate the value of good brushing and flossing habits, using mouthwash daily, and annual visits to your dentist. Twice yearly is better, but if that’s not feasible, at least go to the dentist once each year. In combination with a healthy diet that limits or excludes unhealthy foods, good oral hygiene can keep your natural teeth healthy for your lifetime, and you won’t need painful, expensive, and invasive treatments and dental appliances.

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Family Dental Group

4021 Miller Road, Flint, MI 48507

(810) 515-8952