Tooth decay is far more common than you probably think – in many cases, it can be reversed, especially when caught early enough. However, if left untreated, it can wear away at your tooth enamel (the tough outer layer of your tooth) and begin to form cavities (holes) in the soft layer beneath it. In fact, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 90% of adults (ages 20 to 64) have cavities in their teeth. But, they’re completely preventable! So, here are 5 things to help you avoid cavities altogether.
1. Watch What You Eat
It’s no secret that sugar contributes to cavities – in fact, sugar and starches actually cause cavities (in combination with the normal bacteria around your mouth). Avoiding foods and drinks that are high in sugar; like sodas (even the diet ones), candies (especially if they’re sticky), and pastries, can help to decrease your chances of cavities.
2. Brush & Floss Your Teeth
Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing at least once. Although it may seem like a long time, you should brush for a total of two minutes – and don’t forget to floss between each tooth!
3. Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Dentist
Depending on your individual situation, your dentist will recommend when they want to see you for another appointment. It’s best to follow their recommendation – but typically you should see your dentist every six months. However, for patients who are prone to bacteria, they may want to see you more often to optimize your oral health.
4. Ask About Dental Sealants
Dental sealants can help further protect your molars since they’re the teeth that do all the chewing. When food gets stuck in the crevices of these teeth, it can be difficult to remove. Then, when left there – it begins to wear through your enamel. Sealants will cover all of those nooks and crannies.
5. Use A Mouthwash
In some cases, you may benefit from rinsing with a mouthwash after you’ve brushed (and flossed). Your dentist may recommend a certain kind – like one with fluoride – to better protect your teeth.
ABOUT YOUR ROCHESTER, MN, DENTISTS:
Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offers expert services including teeth whitening, Six Month Smiles, Invisalign, root canal treatments, and pediatric dentistry. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 281-3659. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, MN, as well as Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and all surrounding communities.