How Can I Avoid Common Dental Problems?
While cavities are the most frequent dental disease, prevention is critical. Many factors can influence dental decay, including poor oral hygiene habits. For healthy teeth and gums, brushing and flossing are two of the most important daily habits. But there are a few other simple things you can do for the prevention of toothaches or tooth loss. Listed below are five simple things you can do to prevent cavities.
1. Assess Your Cavity Risk
Taking charge of your oral health begins with knowing how likely you are to get cavities. You can find out by having comprehensive and regular dental exams to know what treatments may be needed and how to improve your oral hygiene and diet. When you know your risk level, you can take more specific measures to improve your oral health. Talk to our dentist at Dakota Ridge Dental in Littleton about how to assess your risk level and how you can lower it.
2. Brush Regularly
Brushing your teeth is one of the most effective and simple tools for cavity prevention because it kills massive amounts of bacteria and plaque in just a few minutes each day. Be sure to brush after eating and before bedtime. When you brush your teeth before bed, you prevent the formation of enamel-damaging acid (which ultimately leads to cavities). It is recommended to brush manually, or with an electric toothbrush, for at least 2 mins during every cleaning. Our dentist at Dakota Ridge Dental can advise on other cleaning techniques for your particular oral health situation.
3. Drink Water With Fluoride
Fluoride can prevent cavities by remineralizing tooth enamel. It’s most effective if taken through a fluoridated beverage, such as water. Most municipalities have fluoride added to public water systems already. If your home in Littleton is equipped with a filtration system that removes fluoride from tap water, using fluoridated toothpaste can help as an alternative.
4. Stop Smoking
People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to suffer from untreated tooth decay. Smoking causes tooth decay in more than 40% of adults aged 20 to 64. Smoking dramatically increases your risk of developing cavities. The nicotine in cigarettes restricts the flow of saliva, which is necessary for fighting bacteria and washing away food debris.
5. Start Flossing
According to the American Dental Association, flossing daily is a vital step in cavity prevention. Daily flossing eliminates plaque and food particles from between teeth and prevents bacteria from building up. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that accumulates on the teeth. A buildup of plaque can cause more than just cavities. Plaque buildup can also lead to:
- Bad breath
- Stained teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
By removing plaque, flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Almost everyone gets cavities at some point in their life. The best way to aid the prevention of tooth decay is through good dental hygiene and regular dental exams.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Preventive Dentistry
Contact our Littleton office today to learn more about oral disease and cavity prevention habits that will keep your smile happy and healthy.