Cavities develop when acid in the mouth (caused by plaque, bacteria, sugary foods, and acidic drinks) weakens, and erodes the tooth enamel and creates a hole in your tooth.
The most common place in the mouth for tooth decay to happen is in between back teeth, where most of your chewing occurs.
The Cavity Process
Cavities don’t just happen overnight. They are the result of a process that happens over time. Early tooth decay can be stopped, and even reversed, but if left too long it can cause permanent damage to the tooth in the form of a cavity. Cavities can only be repaired with a filling, and it is best to visit a dental office in Burlington.
Here are some tips for how to prevent and reverse early tooth decay.
Brush and Floss Your Teeth Every Day
Most cavities can be prevented through regular daily dental hygiene. Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily.
- Be sure to pay attention to your back teeth and the back of your mouth. This is often where most cavities form.
- Use dental floss to get between teeth, this helps remove food particles and plaque that toothbrushes can’t reach.
- Consider using mouthwash to help clear away harmful bacteria.
Fluoride is a common mineral found in all types of water that can be one of the most effective treatments for strengthening tooth enamel. Fluoride works to prevent and reverse the mineral loss in tooth enamel and reduces the acid created by mouth bacteria.
Fluoride is often added to tap water to benefit the entire population. If your water does not contain fluoride, or you drink a lot of bottled water, your dentist may recommend a special fluoride rinse to help keep your enamel strong.
Fluoride is also found in most toothpaste, and in some mouthwashes.
Watch Your Diet, and When You Eat
Your saliva helps to fight off harmful bacteria that feed off of sugary and starchy foods in your diet. The more sugar and starch in your diet, the more acid produced in your mouth, and the more damage it can cause.
- Limit your between-meal snacks, and stick to healthy foods and vegetables – this gives your teeth a chance to repair themselves between acid attacks
- Limit sugary foods and drinks, and if you do eat them, be sure to rinse your mouth with water, or brush your teeth afterwards.
- A diet high in fibre and calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, beans and almonds, will also help strengthen your teeth.
- Don’t eat anything high in sugar before bedtime – your saliva decreases at night, and without saliva, teeth can’t repair themselves, and the bacteria has all night to work on eroding your tooth enamel.
See a Dentist For Regular Checkups and Cleanings
With regular check-ups, your dentist can keep an eye on any potential problems developing and head them off before they get worse. Professional cleanings from your dental clinic in Oshawa will also help remove plaque buildup on your teeth that can’t be cleaned away with regular brushing.
Ask About Dental Sealants
There are various foods that affect your dental health that is why your dentist may recommend dental sealants to help prevent cavities from forming in the first place. Sealants are thin plastic coatings painted onto the teeth that form a barrier to prevent food particles and bacteria from getting trapped and forming cavities.
Sealants are often used on the back teeth as these are the most used for chewing and have many nooks and crevices where it can be difficult to remove food particles.
So remember, the next time you feel that twinge in your teeth, the best thing to do is get out the toothbrush and see your dentist. Most tooth decay and cavities can be prevented and even reversed with regular dental hygiene, a healthy diet, and preventative care, and checkups.