Practicing good dental care is really a matter of simple common sense. If you’re eager to prevent cavities from forming in your teeth, it’s all about reducing the potential for decay. When that sets in, you can be facing a myriad of serious dental issues from bad breath to gum disease. Neither is pleasant and both can be avoided with good dental hygiene.
It all starts with these five tips for preventing cavities, courtesy of your friends at Midlothian Family Dentistry.
Brush Your Teeth
Pretty much says it all right there, if you’re not brushing your teeth regularly then you will get cavities. Period. But how you do it, how often, and the type of brush you choose can also have play a role in the efficacy of your brushing routine.
A good rule of thumb is to brush twice a day, the morning and the evening. If possible, you should also try to brush right after lunch. Bring your toothbrush and some toothpaste on the go with you.
Speaking of your toothbrush, you will need to be careful about which type you select. Adults will want to reach for a brush with medium to firm bristles and go with a small, round head so you can get to all of the areas in your mouth that need attention. Children should go with a brush with softer bristles.
As for your toothpaste, with so many on your store shelves you might feel somewhat confused or overwhelmed as to which is the best option. Let’s make it very simple, pick one that has fluoride in it. This is a mineral that won’t just fight tooth decay, but it can help to make your teeth stronger.
Be careful using fluoride toothpastes with young children as they shouldn’t be swallowing this ingredient and it could lead to fluorosis, a condition that discolors the teeth. Once the child understands that toothpaste must be spit out it is much safer to allow them to use fluoride-based toothpaste.
Mouthwash and Floss
Brushing is vital but to increase your protective power against the destructive effects of tooth decay, you should incorporate mouthwash to help destroy the germs and bacteria that can promote cavities and gum disease in those hard to reach areas that your toothbrush simply can’t clean as effectively.
Flossing is also a great supplement to a complete dental hygiene regimen as it can also be a valuable asset in eradicating the influences that can create tooth decay. Toothbrushes are poor at reaching in between teeth but floss can remove gunk and grime from your previous meals.
If you allow those remnants of past entrees and snacks to remain lodged in between your teeth, they can become breeding grounds for bacteria and germs that could lead to substantial dental issues.
Drink Plenty of Water
They say that water is one of the best drinks you can have to maintain good health and well-being. It’s important to stay fully hydrated so that your body and all of its internal organs and systems are working properly. Water helps to flush your system and drinking plenty of it each day will prove beneficial.
But it’s also good for your teeth as you can get healthy doses of fluoride from your water supply. There are also other benefits for drinking water out of the tap as it contains many healthful minerals. Drinking water also keeps your mouth from getting dry and irritated, as well as flush out any bacteria and germs that might remain even after brushing and rinsing with mouthwash.
Best of all, water has no additives or ingredients that can cause your teeth to decay. There is no sugar or artificial colors or flavors, no corn syrup, no dyes. It’s just fresh, clean water and drinking it will be good for your teeth.
Keep Those Dental Appointments
The best and most effective way to stave off those cavities is by seeing your dentist. Regular checkups can help you avoid serious dental and health problems before they crop up.
Regular cleanings can also be critical towards maintaining good dental hygiene. He or she also has special equipment for performing these cleanings, which will be far more effective than your standard toothbrush and floss.
While you’re at the dentist, you might want to inquire about having dental sealants placed on your teeth. These are plastic coatings that are applied to the chewing areas of your back teeth to help keep them from decaying. These sealants are beneficial because they close the tiny natural fissures of your teeth which can accumulate germs and bacteria. That is where decay can really set in.
But with these coatings, those little pockets are closed off, keeping them clean and healthy.