Cavities affect most of us. These early phases of tooth decay form when natural oral bacteria penetrate weak parts of the tooth enamel and eat a hole in your dental structure. To treat the problem, a dentist will drill away the decay and fill the hole to restore the tooth’s structure.
Though you can receive this cavity treatment easily, you should preserve your natural dental structure for as long as you can. Fortunately, you can spot tooth decay before it progresses into a cavity. For instance, you might see light or dark discoloration on the affected tooth.
Then you can take action and stop dental damage from advancing. Your dentist can help you, but there are steps you can perform on your own as well. Read on to find three tips that can fight tooth decay before you form a cavity.
Avoid Consuming Acidic Substances
A major cause of enamel erosion, a condition that will heighten your risk of cavities, is the consumption of acidic foods and drinks. Teeth are durable, chewing and biting without issue throughout the day. But acid from these items can eat away at your tooth enamel.
Once gone, lost enamel will not grow back, and these thinned spots in the enamel will make for prime targets for tooth decay. You can stop further enamel erosion though when you avoid acidic items like citrus fruits and juices.
Sugar will also erode enamel because it becomes acidic when it reacts to saliva. So limit sugary treats in your diet when possible. Pay attention to the ingredients in your foods and drinks to avoid accidentally ingesting excess sugar and other harmful items.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The ideal way to fight cavities on your own is to practice proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily to scrub away plaque, a natural film that forms over your teeth throughout the day. If left on your smile, plaque eats away at your dental structure, leaving it vulnerable to tooth decay.
So stick to a thorough regimen when it comes to oral hygiene. Use purposeful movements as you brush and floss to ensure your teeth become fully clean. Visit your dentist for routine teeth cleanings too to maximize this preventative dental care.
Consider Fluoride Treatment
You can strengthen your teeth and make them better able to resist tooth decay with fluoride. This naturally occurring mineral will absorb into your tooth enamel, fortifying it against both cosmetic and structural damage.
Fluoride is found in many foods you already eat, including tap water. So drink plenty of this water to improve your dental health.
You should also ask your dentist about using oral hygiene products that contain fluoride. These special toothpastes and mouthwashes can boost your dental health when used as directed.
They may also suggest fluoride treatment in their office. This involves applying a paste, gel, or rinse to the teeth containing concentrated fluoride that will increase the strength of your teeth. Learn more about preventative dental care when you call your dentist today.