A cavity is one thing nobody wants to hear their Tampa dentist say. This term refers to when your tooth decays and creates a hole in the tooth that can get bigger and more painful if not treated properly and quickly. The main cause of cavities is a build-up of plaque on the tooth, causing bacteria to grow and eat away at the enamel of the tooth, making it susceptible to cavities. Now that you know what a cavity is, you may be asking yourself how to prevent it so that you don’t hear your Tampa dentist utter that word. We’ve put together a list of tips so you can cavities and the painful fillings that go with them.
Brush your Teeth
This tip may sound like a no-brainer, but all too often, this is a major cause for cavities, especially in children. Be sure to brush your teeth at least two times a day, but ideally after every meal to avoid food getting caught in-between your teeth. When you’re brushing, make sure you are lightly brushing the gums as well. If you have any permanent retainers, ask your Tampa dentist how to brush them so you can prevent cavities.
Flossing may seem like a pain, but making sure to floss at least once a day can be a huge step in preventing cavities. For smaller hands, try some of the easy-to-hold flossers to help promote good oral care at a young age. For those with braces or retainers, ask your dentist for flossing aids to help you get in those hard to reach places. Flossing removes any leftover food your toothbrush couldn’t dislodge. The longer food sits in your mouth, the higher your risk for cavities.
Avoid foods high in sugar
Everyone loves a little sugar now and then, but drinking things like sodas or processed fruit drinks exposes your enamel to high levels of sugar. These sugars can eat away at the enamel, furthering the risk for cavities. If you choose to eat or drink sugary substances, be sure to brush your teeth promptly afterward to remove any residue.
Preventing cavities can be as easy as a few simple steps. You may already be brushing your teeth regularly, but adding a few extra minutes can mean all the difference. Call North Pointe Dental today to schedule your next appointment!