It is important to brush at least twice a day and to floss at least once a day. Brushing and flossing help reduce the bacteria on your teeth and gums. Brushing helps reduce bacteria on the front, back and top surfaces and flossing helps to reduce bacteria in between your teeth. The more bacteria that accumulates, the more the risk of developing cavities and gum disease increases. By manually removing the bacteria with a brush and floss, there is less plaque build-up, and therefore less tartar build-up, leading to healthier teeth and gums.
Fluoride is an essential component of a regular oral hygiene regimen. It is important to use fluoride at least twice a day by using a fluoridated toothpaste. If you are particularly cavity-prone, you can even use a fluoridated mouthwash once a day for an added dose. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel. Remember not to eat, drink or rinse your mouth for 30 minutes after fluoride use for the best results. Xylitol is a great addition to fluoride. Xylitol helps to change the type of bacteria you build up in your mouth from being cavity-causing bacteria to non-cavity, causing bacteria.
A diet low in sugar is also an essential part of staying cavity-free. When consumed, the sugar turns into acid in your mouth and attacks the enamel of your teeth. With repetition and exposure, this acid can eventually cause cavities. The types of sugars that are cavity-causing are any sugars that are gummy, chewy or sticky such as candies, dried fruit and granola bars. These types of foods get stuck in the biting surfaces of your teeth and extend the exposure time.
See your dentist and dental hygienist at least every six months for dental cleanings and check-ups to keep your teeth healthy. During your check-ups, the health of your teeth and gums will be assessed, and if any cavities are forming, they will be diagnosed. During the appointment, brushing and flossing techniques will be demonstrated to help you keep your teeth clean at home.
Did you know the bacteria from a cavity can spread in your mouth, potentially causing more cavities? It is essential to get cavities fixed right away before they are left to grow or spread. Leaving a cavity in your mouth may lead to potential infection of that tooth and other cavities elsewhere. Especially if a cavity is in-between the teeth, if left untreated, the adjacent tooth will likely start to decay. Make sure that if you have a cavity diagnosed by your dentist, you have it treated as soon as possible.