Learn How To Help Prevent Cavities


Dr. Allen Sun of Laurentian Dental Centre Kitchener

Dr. Allen Sun, Laurentian Dental, Kitchener

Dental disease is the most widespread of all human ailments, affecting 95% of people. Tooth decay is by far the most prevalent form of dental disease among most younger people, but too many of them do not even think of poor dental health as being a significant problem.

Many of us can remember sweating through the poking and prodding of a dentist during an examination, praying that the dentist would not find a cavity that required the use of the dreaded dental drill. Today, armed with the proper knowledge, and the right home dental care regimen, you and your family can rest easy and fear cavities no more.

Young woman holding the right side of her cheek in discomfort.

Cavities no more!

When it comes to cavities, bacteria are public enemy #1. Our mouths are full of bacteria which settle on our teeth in the form of plaque. Here bacteria devour food particles left on our teeth. Ungrateful guests, these bacteria produce acid as a by-product of their feasting. This acid eats into the tooth enamel and can create a cavity. Without proper care, the acid eats a hole through the enamel into the underlying dentin and pulp layer of the tooth. This can cause pain. If left untreated, the cavity will eventually destroy the dentin, pulp and tooth nerve.

Good oral hygiene can significantly reduce your chances of getting cavities. It’s crucial to brush all your tooth surfaces and you should devote 2 – 3 minutes to the task, twice a day. Many people only brush for 45 seconds or less, missing a large percentage of their tooth surfaces. Flossing is also essential in preventing cavities. Effective flossing reaches the nearly 35% of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t.

There are other things you can do to reduce your risk of getting cavities. Watch what you eat, bacteria are particularly fond of foods that tend to stick to your teeth like peanut butter, caramel, and honey. Because these foods are not cleared by chewing and swallowing, they can provide bacteria with a long-lasting food source with which to make acid.

“With the proper knowledge, and the right home dental care regimen, you and your family can rest easy and fear cavities no more.”

Fewer large size meals are better for your teeth than frequent smaller snacks because longer intervals between meals enables the body to neutralize acid and repair any acid damage. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride incorporates itself into the tooth enamel making it more resistant to acid attacks. With good oral hygiene and attention to what and when you eat, cavities may be virtually eliminated.

Finally, see a dentist on a regular basis because dental problems often remain silent and result in pain only after significant damage has already occurred.

During a semi-annual exam, the dentist can identify many of these potentially devastating problems before they cause any major damage. The dentist can also detect any places in your mouth that are prime targets for cavity formation because of inadequate brushing or flossing and help you to take remedial action.

Yours for better dental health,

This article has been updated from it’s original posting in May of 2013.

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