A Cavity is a permanently damaged area in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth well.
Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers, and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.
If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to severe toothache, infection, and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.
As a dental office, cavities are one of the most common parts of our practice that we work on. We see cavities in folks of all ages ranging from a few years to over a hundred. You only have your adult teeth once and you need to protect them. Our blog this week is eight easy tips people can do to prevent getting cavities.
Tip #1 Decrease your sugary drinks
One of the simplest tips on our list is reducing your sugary food and drinks. The average American drinks over 40 gallons of sugary drinks a year.
That’s equivalent to this 40-gallon fish tank.
Consuming less sugary drinks may that be pop, coffee, or energy drinks can lead to substantially less risk of getting a cavity. With that being said we aren’t those dentists that give out floss during Halloween and recommend moderation rather than completely cutting it out of your diet. When in doubt drink some tap water as its rich and fluoride and will strengthen your teeth.
Tip #2 Floss your teeth daily
If you have read our recent blogs (located here) you may have noticed that we really care about flossing. Flossing is probably one of the most important tools to preventing cavities right under brushing your teeth twice a day. Flossing is especially important for those hard-to-reach gaps and crevices in your mouth that your toothbrush can’t hit. Our team recommends flossing once a day either in the morning or at night.
For more information on flossing check out our other blogs:
Tip #3 Use daily mouth wash
The third tip we recommend is using mouth wash daily. Mouth wash is the third musketeer of dental health along with brushing and flossing. If you use all three products your chances of getting cavities plummets compared to when not using it. Our dental team recommends creating a mouth care routine in the morning and night where you do all of these to help promote your tooth and gum health.
For more information on what kind of mouth wash you should buy check out this great article from the ADA right here.
Tip #4 Drink some tap water
Most public water supplies have added fluoride, which can help reduce tooth decay significantly. If you drink only bottled water that doesn’t contain fluoride, you’ll miss out on fluoride benefits. Our home of Duluth, Minnesota is no exception and all city water has fluoride. We are exceptionally lucky as we get the fantastic taste of lake superior water. Our water is ranked one of the best city waters in America. Go to your sink and try some today!
Tip #5 Consider dental sealants.
A sealant is a protective plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of back teeth. It seals off grooves and crannies that tend to collect food, protecting tooth enamel from plaque and acid. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sealants for all school-age children. Sealants may last for several years before they need to be replaced, but they need to be checked regularly. Our team recommends coming in atleast every 6 months to get everything checked.
Tip #6 Quit those bad habits
Smoking, drinking, biting your nails, and other bad habits raise your risk of getting cavities substantially. These habits increase your risk of cavity incredibly and can leave you losing teeth over time. Our recommendation is to ditch them and live a cleaner healthier lifestyle.
Tip #7 Avoid frequent snacking
Our seventh tip is to avoid frequent snacking between brushes. Snacking in between meals allows the plaque to build up leading to tooth decay. We recommend your three meals a day schedule and sticking to it. As an extra bonus both your teeth and your waist size will probably thank you.
Tip #8 Get a cleaning every six months
Just like a tune-up with your car, it’s important to get your teeth checked regularly to make sure there aren’t any problems forming. Our team here at Woodland Family Dental is here to help. As Duluth’s favorite family dental practice we are here to help anyone that needs it. Click here or give us a call today to schedule your appointment.
Symptoms of cavities
The signs and symptoms of cavities vary, depending on their extent and location. When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all. As the decay gets larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs without any apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
- Pain when you bite down
When to see a dentist about cavities
You may not be aware that a cavity is forming. That’s why it’s important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings, even when your mouth feels fine. However, if you experience a toothache or mouth pain, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Woodland Family Dental is one of Duluth, Minnesota’s top family dentists with over 50 five-star reviews on Google. Our team of dentists offers a wide array of dental services including general cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, implants, and more. Woodland Family Dental is here to help you with your dental needs. Not to mention our great location on Miller Trunk Hwy in Duluth Woodland Family Dental is close to the business center of Duluth. Set up an appointment today to see why our customers love us. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date
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