Dayton area dentist gives tips on how to prevent cavities
A cavity is a hole in your tooth that is caused by decay. Our mouths contain hundreds of different types of bacteria. They live on the gums, the tongue, the teeth, and other oral tissues. Much of the bacteria in our mouth are helpful, but some are harmful and have a direct role in tooth decay.
Tooth decay is an infection that occurs when specific types of bacteria utilize sugars from the food we eat and turn it into acid. Over time, acid erodes the outer surface of the teeth, called enamel, causing a cavity.
Dayton area dentist Dr. Daniel Cobb of Alex Bell Dental offers the following tips to his patients to help prevent the occurrence of cavities.
- Brush often and correctly. Brushing our teeth is probably one of the most important ways to remove harmful plaque. Make sure you are brushing at least twice each day with a soft bristled toothbrush. Try to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Don’t forget to floss. Brushing alone will not completely clean the teeth. Bacteria can be harbored between teeth and cause cavities. Flossing daily can help remove it.
- Consume a healthy diet. Dental health is not only about cleaning our teeth. Proper nutrition plays an important role in keeping teeth healthy. Limit the amount of sugary drinks and snacks that you consume and replace them with healthy options. Snacks like carrots and celery can even help keep teeth clean throughout the day.
- Don’t skip dental visits. Staying current on your twice-yearly dental visits allows the dentist to identify potential decay early. In addition, professional cleanings can help prevent cavities and keep your mouth healthy.
- Use antibacterial mouthwash. This can help with cavity prevention and is a great option if you are unable to brush your teeth after a meal.
Chew sugarless gum. Certain types of gum can actually help you prevent cavities because they increase saliva flow.
By staying proactive about your dental care, you can help prevent cavities and ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
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