March 20, 2018
Did you know that teeth are the only part of the human body that can’t heal themselves? That’s why protecting them is so important! A solid routine of preventive care can go miles toward keeping your smile healthy and beautiful for decades to come. Because we want you to enjoy a lifetime of great oral health, we’re here to provide a few tips on how to stop cavities before they start.
Brush and Floss
A good routine of oral hygiene at home is the foundation of a healthy mouth. To get the most out of your daily habits, be sure you:
- Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth, replacing tiny bits of enamel that wear away throughout the day.
- Brush at least twice a day. Frequent brushing gets ride of plaque that can erode your enamel and lead to cavities.
- Floss at least once a day. Brushing only cleans about 60 percent of your teeth’s surfaces. Flossing removes plaque from the other 40 percent.
Adjust Your Diet
No matter how good your oral hygiene routine is, you can still get cavities if you aren’t mindful of what you expose your teeth to on a daily basis. Some foods and drinks that can easily contribute to cavity formation include:
- Candy and other sweets. Sugar interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, increasing plaque production.
- Not only does soda contain a ton of sugar, but it also is very acidic. The combination weakens enamel.
- Citrus fruits. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are high in enamel-eroding acid.
- Starchy or sticky foods. Any food that is high in carbs that is likely to get stuck on or between your teeth (like potato chips) can expose your pearly whites to damaging sugars for long periods of time, thereby weakening your smile.
Visit Your Dentist
Even if you think you’re doing everything right at home, visiting your dentist twice a year is still important. A professional cleaning reaches spots in your mouth that you may accidentally miss during your daily routine. Plus, a dentist has tools at their disposal that can get rid of tartar, which is what plaque turns into if it stays on your teeth long enough. It’s impossible to remove tartar with a regular toothbrush.
Also during your checkup, the dentist or hygienist will provide you with personalized tips on how to take better care of your teeth. For example, they might suggest that you use a specific toothbrush, add mouthwash to your daily routine, or improve your flossing technique.
It’s also possible that your dentist will recommend that you get sealants, which place a protective barrier between the chewing surfaces of your teeth and the food that might otherwise damage them.
The above tips won’t eliminate your risk of developing cavities altogether, but they’ll certainly improve your chances of maintaining a healthy smile for life.
About the Dentist
Dr. James T. Gray leads the team in our office. He has decades of experience in dentistry, but the years haven’t dimmed his passion for caring for his patients’ smiles. If it’s time for your next cleaning and checkup, please contact us at 817-460-4131.
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