Cavities cause tooth decay and tooth pain -- needless to say, they’re something we wish to avoid. When tooth decay builds up so much that it causes physical holes in the teeth, this is known as a cavity. A cavity can invite bacteria deeper into your teeth, which can lead to more severe decay and even cause you to lose your tooth.
A cavity develops when it is frequently exposed to acids found in sugars and starches in the foods you eat. Brushing can help to wash away these sugars and starches, minimizing your risk for cavities.
Cavity prevention requires you taking a few minutes out of each day to take care of your teeth. Some steps you can take to reduce your risk for cavities includes:
• Brush your teeth at least twice each day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. You should brush for at least two minutes to really get your teeth clean. Set a timer or commit to brushing throughout a commercial break of your favorite television show.
• Floss at least once each day. Sticky, hard-to-reach bacteria linger between your teeth. Flossing helps to free up these bacteria and keep them from causing decay.
• Chew a piece of sugar-free gum after you finish eating a meal and can’t brush your teeth. Sugar-free gum helps to scrub the teeth to reduce sugary substances. The gum also stimulates saliva production that helps to wash away cavity-causing bacteria.
• Eat a healthy diet. Avoiding sticky, high-sugar foods such as candy and gummy foods can help keep away bacteria that are attracted to these sugars. Healthy foods, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables, also helps to encourage saliva flow and keep the teeth clean. Whenever possible, avoid snacking between meals. Doing so gives your teeth a chance to repair themselves between meals to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
Regular check-ups are part of your cavity prevention strategy. To schedule your checkup, call your family dentist in Springville at (801) 489-4541 to make an appointment.