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How to Avoid Getting Cavities

How to Avoid Getting Cavities

You just left the dentist after yet another filling to fix a cavity.

You’re determined that this time will be different, that when you return for your next regular exam and cleaning, your dentist will find a grand total of zero cavities.

So how can you make that happen? How can you avoid getting cavities?

Here at Portrait Dental, we have advised many patients on this very question over the years. Here’s our best advice.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day

Let’s start with the basics. Just like your mom told you, one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to prevent cavities is to brush your teeth in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed. If you want to go the extra mile, brush after lunch, too. 

Brushing your teeth cleans off plaque, the sticky film left on your teeth after the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars left behind from the food and drinks you consume. 

If the plaque is allowed to harden on your teeth, acid will form that will erode your enamel, making decay, infection, and cavities in your teeth much more likely. 

Floss at least once a day

The other basic step you can take is to floss once a day. Flossing serves the same purpose as brushing, except it covers a couple of areas your toothbrush can’t reach: the sides of your teeth and the pocket where the base of your tooth reaches your gums. 

Skip this step, and you’ll be giving the cavities a head start. 

Drink lots of water 

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day provides a couple of benefits. First, rinsing your mouth consistently helps wash away any food particles left in your mouth, which helps keep plaque from forming. Second, water helps stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth. The electrolytes found in your saliva help break down food particles and kill the bacteria in your mouth, so the more saliva you have, the better your defense against cavities.

Limit your sugar intake 


Remember how we said earlier that bacteria thrive on the sugar they find in your mouth, leading to cavities? To control the amount of sugar on which bacteria feed, limit your sugar intake from sugary food and drinks. We aren’t saying you can never have sweets, but have them in moderation and then brush your teeth afterward.

When you do eat sugar, try to keep it a few hours before bedtime. One of the greatest risks of cavities comes due to food particles (and sugar) that stay in your mouth all night long, where they have a greater amount of time to do their damage. Brush your teeth thoroughly before bed to avoid this.

Follow these tips, and you should be cavity-free the next time you visit the dentist. If you need to schedule an exam and cleaning, our team at Portrait Dental would be happy to help. Just call our Katy office at 501-381-1621, or use our convenient online scheduler to book your own appointment anytime!

 

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