6 Ways To Avoid Cavities
The truth is that poor oral health usually results in numerous dental conditions, such as cavities. Also known as tooth decay, cavities are permanently damaged areas in your teeth that develop into tiny holes or openings. When left untreated, they tend to cause pain, making it extremely difficult for you to chew, speak, and carry on with your daily activities. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t usually so keen on how to avoid cavities.
According to the CDC, 90% of adults aged 20 years and older in the United States have had at least one cavity. This undoubtedly shows how prevalent this dental disorder is. That said, if you or a loved one are experiencing cavities, there are numerous treatment options available for you.
However, instead of thinking about the treatment options available for cavities, wouldn’t it be better just to avoid them altogether? Here is a list of how to avoid cavities and achieve the beautiful smile you desire.
Brush your teeth regularly
As cliché as it sounds, brushing your teeth regularly is highly essential for good oral health. Numerous studies suggest that your mouth contains millions of bacteria that recycle every time you eat or drink.
Brushing your teeth regularly helps get rid of this bacteria, thus keeping your teeth safe. However, failure to do this usually leads to the bacteria feeding on the sugars from the foods you consume, resulting in cavities.
That said, when it comes to brushing your teeth, it is fundamental to stick to the guidelines laid down by the American Dental Association:
- You should brush your teeth twice a day.
- Use a toothbrush that has soft bristles.
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes.
- Replace your toothbrush after every three months.
Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic drinks
According to medical experts, acidic drinks such as tea or coffee, combined with milk and sugars, usually increase your risk of contracting cavities. This is because additives such as cream, syrup, or sugar typically stay in your saliva for an extended period of time. Consequently, the bacteria in your mouth feed on them and lead to tooth decay.
Similarly, the acid from these acidic drinks usually destroys your tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities. Therefore, as difficult as it may be, it is advisable for you to reduce your coffee consumption or ensure that you rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee.
Rinse your mouth
One of the best ways to avoid cavities is by rinsing your mouth daily with a mouthwash that contains fluoride. While fluoride is an essential mineral for strong and healthy teeth, most mouth rinses usually contain antiseptic properties that help get rid of the mouth bacteria known for causing tooth decay.
Drink tap water
When thinking of how to avoid cavities, you may want to consider drinking tap water regularly. Why tap water? Most public water supplies usually contain fluoride, which is extremely useful in reducing your tooth decay risk.
However, if you are fond of bottled water, you should ensure that you stick to brands that offer fluoridated water. The bottom line is that you ensure to drink fluoridated water each day in order to protect your teeth from cavities.
Regular dental visits
Visiting your dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and other oral exams helps you stay ahead of the problem. By doing this, you are not only capable of preventing cavities, but you also give your dentist a chance to spot any tooth decay risks early.
Therefore, ensure that you sit down with your dentist and develop a schedule that works best for you.
Eat healthy foods
To avoid cavities, you should ensure that you stick to nutritious and balanced foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. That said, it is crucial to avoid foods that usually stick on the tooth surface (often carbohydrates), such as candy, chips, and pretzels. However, if you do eat sticky foods, then ensure that you brush your teeth immediately after.
How to Avoid Cavities: The Importance
Contrary to what most of us may believe, cavities pose a threat to both our oral and overall health. This is because, when left untreated, cavities usually lead to complications:
- Tooth abscess: A severe dental infection that tends to spread from the gums to other body parts, triggering various life-threatening conditions such as sepsis- an infection that enters the bloodstream.
- Discolored teeth: Cavities are usually accompanied by black, brown, or grey spots that appear on the teeth.
- Pain: Patients experience an ongoing toothache that makes it difficult for them to chew and speak.
- Pus: In most cases, it usually develops around the infected tooth.