General Dentistry Tips for Avoiding Cavities

General Dentistry Tips for Avoiding Cavities from Colella Cosmetic Dentistry in Coconut Creek, FLCavities, also known as caries or tooth decay, create the biggest need for general dentistry visits. Cavities are the result of bacteria in the mouth combined with other factors like sugary drinks, frequent snacking, and failure to adequately clean the teeth. Tooth decay is particularly common in children, adolescents, and elderly adults, but everyone is at risk of cavities if they do not maintain good oral hygiene.

Causes of cavities

Although tooth enamel is the body's hardest substance, it is vulnerable to damage from the acids that form in the mouth. Once enamel is destroyed, it does not replace itself. The following issues create cavities that destroy tooth enamel.

Formation of plaque

The sticky film that coats the teeth after eating or drinking sugary or starchy foods or drinks is dental plaque. This stays on the teeth until it is removed by brushing, flossing, and rinsing and can harden into tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar can harbor bacteria and makes plaque difficult to eliminate without the use of general dentistry tools and techniques.

Attack on enamel

Plaque acids erodes the minerals in tooth enamel, causing small holes that are the beginning of cavities. When the enamel is worn down, bacteria and acids can affect the soft dentin, which is the next layer of the tooth. This may cause pain due to the dentin's connection with nerve endings in the tooth.

Development of decay

The development of tooth decay moves further into the tooth, causing swelling and irritation in the pulp, the inner layer of material which is full of blood vessels and nerves. This results in pressing on the nerve of the tooth, resulting in pain that can extend to the root of the tooth and bone in the gums.

General dentistry cavity prevention

General dentistry recommends good oral hygiene practices to avoid the damage caused by tooth decay. The following six tips can be combined to keep teeth healthy.

1. Brush properly with fluoride

General dentistry professionals believe that brushing is most beneficial when completed twice a day with a properly sized, soft-bristled toothbrush.

2. Rinse well

Rinsing with water is helpful to flush out bits of food and keep teeth clean. Your general dentistry professional may also recommend rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse.

3. Use a sealant

Sealants are recommended for the molars of school-age children in order to smooth out the pits and grooves in teeth that sometimes collect food particles.

4. Visit your general dentistry professional

Regular professional check-ups and cleanings are important to detect and prevent oral health issues.

5. Eat a healthy diet

Avoid sticky, sugary, and starchy foods or brush your teeth immediately after eating them. Foods like fresh vegetables and fruits increase the flow of saliva. Tap water contains fluoride, and unsweetened beverages can help to eliminate food particles.

6. Get supplemental treatments

For those at a higher risk for tooth decay, general dentistry recommends fluoride treatments, antibacterial mouth rinses or treatments, and combinations of xylitol gum, prescription fluoride, and special rinses to lower the risk of developing cavities.

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The normal act of eating and drinking raises the risk of developing tooth decay. By focusing on appropriate oral health techniques recommended by general dentistry, the formation of cavities and resulting decay can be prevented.

Request an appointment or call Colella Cosmetic Dentistry at 954-271-8088 for an appointment in our Coconut Creek office.

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