Don’t let cavities stop your radiant smile! Cavities, while destructive to a healthy smile, can often be prevented with regular care and attention to your teeth. Cavities are holes in teeth that arise from the effects of plaque formation.
Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that forms on your teeth and gums as a reaction to the sugars in your mouth from the foods and drinks you ingest. A good example of foods that produce excess sugar include chips, bread, milk, cookies, juice, soda, etc. The bacteria that live in your mouth react to this sugar by creating acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
So where can cavities crop up? They can show up on the top or biting surface (molars), or between the teeth. If you have gum disease, or receding gums, cavities can form on the root surfaces of the teeth. To fill the hole that is left behind when tooth decay is removed, our dentist will fill the empty space with a filling material to prevent further decay and allow your tooth to function normally.
Ways You Can Avoid Cavities
You are on the front lines of any bacterial decay in your mouth. You can brush your teeth daily (for two minutes at least twice each day) to remove oral debris and bacterial plaque. Just make sure your toothbrush bristles are in good shape, because frayed bristles can’t clean teeth effectively. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months (or sooner if the bristles are wearing out).
Your next best defense against plaque formation includes limiting your intake of sugary and starchy foods. Snacking is particularly harmful if you are ingesting substances without brushing afterwards. Eat and drink foods that will work in your favor by supporting your healthy smile, such as cheese, almonds, apple slices or carrot sticks.
One of your most effective cavity prevention strategies is fluoride. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, keeping it strong and resilient as it fights off destructive elements. To reap fluoride’s benefits, you can drink tap water instead of bottled water, and use toothpaste or mouthwash that has fluoride in it.
Another indispensable cavity deterrent is your six month professional dental cleanings. Not only will your oral health be examined thoroughly to spot dental problems early on, but we will remove hardened plaque (tartar) off of your teeth and gum line. And if you are cavity prone, you may also benefit from dental sealants or fluoride treatments.
You can take an active role in avoiding cavities, so take the time to care for your smile, and let us help you along the way. Together we will keep your smile bright for years to come. To schedule your next dental visit with one of our skilled dentists, Dr. Scott Thompson or Dr. Erica Grayson DiGuglielmo, please contact our dental team in Essex Junction, Vermont at 802-879-7811 today.