Until you develop one, a cavity may not seem like a serious issue. However, once it forms, the discomfort in your tooth will grow increasingly worse until treated, and the longer you hesitate, the more extensive treatment you’ll need. The good news is that nearly everyone can successfully prevent cavity development and the discomfort it can cause. All it takes is consistently good hygiene, regular dental care, and a decent understanding of how cavities develop.
Keeping your teeth clean
Oral bacteria, which are found abundantly in dental plaque and tartar, are the main forces behind cavity development. Harmful oral bacteria convert sugars and carbs into acids that compromise your protective tooth enamel, eventually eroding the enamel until the bacteria can infect your main tooth structure. One of the most important aspects of cavity prevention is keeping plaque at bay by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once.
Keeping your diet teeth-friendly
Since oral bacteria cause the most harm by metabolizing nutrients, your diet is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile. Yet not all food is harmful; in fact, your teeth need certain nutrients, such as calcium, to remain strong and healthy. The key is to maintain balance; after eating or snacking, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water afterward. Also, refrain from snacking on sugary snacks throughout the day, especially sticky sweets that cling to your teeth and are therefore the most harmful.
Keeping a close eye on your teeth
While you can do a lot to prevent cavities on your own, you can’t successfully keep your smile healthy without help from your dentist. Ideally, you should attend a checkup and cleaning appointment at least once every six months. During your visit, your hygienist will thoroughly clean away harmful plaque and tartar, and your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your teeth and oral cavity. Routine examinations allow your dentist to keep a close eye on your teeth and spot early signs of cavity development.
If a cavity forms, treating it early is the best way to prevent it from causing serious damage to your tooth structure. For instance, your dentist may use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to spot hard-to-see areas where your enamel may have grown weak. He may also suggest taking digital X-rays once a year to spot cavities that form between teeth and remain invisible during a regular visual exam.
Learn More About Preventing Cavities
Even if you’ve already experienced a cavity, you still have a good chance at preventing another one from forming with good hygiene and routine care from your dentist. To learn more about protecting your smile from cavities and more, schedule a visit with your dentist by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930.