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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

While some cavities are extremely painful and require immediate attention from your dentist, others can go unnoticed until they have become serious threats to the health of your tooth. Understanding the ways in which cavities form and the factors that can play a role in this process can allow you to make minor changes in your lifestyle that can have major positive effects on your dental health. Here are some important facts to keep in mind when planning your journey to healthier teeth and gums.

Most Cavities Are Caused by Plaque

Plaque is a sticky whitish or clear substance that forms when bacteria in your mouth attack and break down the foods and drinks you consume. The resulting mixture is acidic enough to break down tooth enamel over time, which usually results in a small hole in the tooth called a cavity. Removing plaque thoroughly can reduce the risk of cavities caused by this substance.

What You Can Do to Prevent Cavities

If you are concerned about cavities for yourself, your children or any other members of your family, you will be glad to know that there are a few simple steps you can take to lower your chances of tooth decay and cavities. Your dentist can provide you with added advice on the most effective ways to fight cavities, some of which are listed below.

Brushing and Flossing

If you have younger children, brushing your teeth as a family activity can encourage your kids to practice good dental hygiene. In all cases, you should brush your teeth for about two minutes at a time at least twice daily. If it is convenient, brushing after every meal, snack and sweet drink is most preferred by dentists.

Flossing at least once a day is also important to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth. Use a fresh section of floss for every pass between your teeth. If flossing is uncomfortable, you may want to choose waxed floss or to consult your dentist in Northern New Jersey for other flossing options that may work best for you. Devices that use pressurized water or flossing picks are available commercially that may provide added comfort for your flossing process.

Applying Fluoride to Teeth

There are four basic methods for fluoridating your teeth to protect them against tooth decay:

  • Drinking or rinsing with fluoridated tap water will help to strengthen tooth enamel, which will allow it to stand up to plaque more effectively.
  • Fluoride mouthwash is a great option in areas without fluoridated water. For best results, use this mouthwash twice a day after brushing your teeth.
  • Your dentist in Northern New Jersey can also provide you with professional fluoride applications that will strengthen your tooth enamel. These applications are available for children and adults and last between three months and a year.
  • Fluoride toothpaste is the most common way in which fluoride is administered as a dental solution. Choosing a fluoride toothpaste is essential for you and every member of your family.

Sealing Off Gaps

You may also want to ask your dentist whether dental sealants are right for you. Dental sealant applications are used to seal off gaps, grooves and other areas where food can sometimes become trapped. By eliminating the places where plaque can grow and multiply, dental sealant treatments offer added help in preventing damage to your teeth caused by plaque and tooth decay.

Upgrading Your Diet

Sugary and starchy foods and drinks are among the favorite foods for the bacteria that live in your mouth and are a primary source of plaque. Eliminating or significantly reducing the number of sweet and starchy foods you consume will generally reduce the food supply for these bacteria and the amount of plaque produced inside your mouth.

Foods rich in calcium and vitamins are also important for the health of your teeth and gums:

  • Dairy products like milk and cheese are rich in calcium and are a great addition to your diet. If you are lactose intolerant, you may be able to eat hard cheeses like Parmesan or Swiss without negative effects. Lactose-free milk fortified with calcium and Vitamin D can also be a good choice for lactose-intolerant individuals.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary for growing healthy bones and maintaining the health of your teeth. Incorporating these fresh foods into your everyday diet is an excellent step toward better dental health for you and your family.
  • Drinking plenty of water will help to flush away plaque and bacteria to keep your mouth healthier. Staying hydrated is also a good idea for maintaining your overall state of physical health.

Visiting Your Dentist

Making regular appointments with an affordable dentist in Northern New Jersey can provide you with targeted recommendations for preventing cavities and improving the condition of your teeth and gums. Your dentist can also check for the early warning signs of gum disease and tooth decay to address these problems quickly and effectively.

Solutions for Cavities

Fillings are the most common treatment options for cavities that are small to medium in size. Available in precious metals like silver or gold as well as ivory-colored composite materials and silver amalgam, fillings can usually be applied in a single appointment at your dentist’s office in Northern New Jersey.

Crowns may be required for teeth that have larger cavities. This can provide added protection for tooth enamel that may be damaged or delicate after decayed material has been removed. They may also be necessary if a root canal must be performed to remove decayed and infected material. Root canals typically remove all the interior tissue and the nerve endings in the roots of the tooth. Crowns can provide the necessary support for teeth that have undergone root canal procedures.

Your dentist in Northern New Jersey can tell you more about the latest treatments and preventive strategies for cavities. This can help you to feel more confident about the health of your teeth and the beauty of your smile.

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