A good oral-care routine can empower you to show off your healthy smile with confidence. Here are a few tips to help keep your whole mouth free of cavities and tooth decay.
Also, don’t forget that regular checkups can let your dental professional monitor and minimize the risks of decay and cavities by detecting them early on.
How can I prevent a cavity from developing?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help prevent the formation of a cavity. Try this dentist-recommended oral care routine:
- Brush twice a day
- Use toothpaste or mouthwash containing fluoride, an agent that strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities
- Clean between your teeth daily with floss to help remove the plaque your toothbrush is unable to reach
- Follow a healthy diet and avoid sugary foods and drinks
- Schedule regular visits with your dentist, approximately every six months, for a routine cleaning and exam
- Remember to change your toothbrush when it looks worn, or every three months, because the newer the bristles, the more plaque the brush is able to remove
More top tips on fighting cavities
A few simple lifestyle adjustments can have big payoffs for your dental health.
- Monitor what you eat. Reducing decay depends on a well-balanced diet. Think twice about high-sugar or heavy-starch diets.
- Get your greens. Dark, leafy fruits and vegetables add calcium and reduce acids in saliva.
- Stay hydrated. A dry mouth allows plaque to be retained in the mouth. Drink plenty of tap water that contains fluoride.
- Watch coffee, soda, and alcohol intake. Ingredients in certain liquids and foods discolour the tooth surface, and too much phosphorus depletes calcium.
- Take supplements. Vitamins C and D help support tooth health. Check with your physician before taking any supplements.
How often should I visit a dentist for cavities?
You should plan on seeing your dentist twice a year for check-ups. While check-ups can vary, your dentist will most likely examine your teeth and gums for any visible problems, including the development of a cavity. He or she may also take X-rays to make sure there aren't any problems that aren’t yet visible.
Your dentist may also professionally clean your teeth to remove hardened plaque from above and below the gum line, as well as polish them to remove plaque and stains from the tooth surface. And don't forget—your dentist can also provide expert instruction on brushing and flossing.