You probably already know that cavities are holes in your teeth due to tooth decay, but did you know that you can reverse the process and even stop cavities from forming? No doubt you’ve heard that you should brush your teeth, but why it works you may not know. Here’s how to avoid cavities and have a healthy mouth.
How Cavities Form
Your body knows there’s a war on when it comes to your teeth. Bacteria within the mouth feed on sugars and starches such as breads, cookies, and juices to form acids. These acids attack your teeth and eat away at the enamel or hard surface of the tooth. Your mouth has saliva which has minerals in it such as fluoride, phosphate, and calcium that help it fight the acids by repairing the teeth. When the acids overwhelm the minerals that repair your teeth, a cavity starts. At first, it may look like a white spot on your tooth. At this stage, the tooth can be repaired.
If the dental decay isn’t reversed, it leads to the tooth enamel eroding and a cavity or hole in your tooth. At this point, only your dentist can fix it with a filling.
Brushing Twice a Day
Naturally, we want to stop your teeth from getting cavities so you don’t have to go to the dentist. The way to do that is relatively easy. Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste will help keep your teeth from losing the minerals and will help repair teeth afflicted with early dental decay.
Using dental floss after you brush will help keep the food particles away from your teeth and thereby keeping the particles from trapping bacteria that will attack portions of your teeth.
Fluoride is one of those miracle minerals that a dentist discovered by accident as early as 1909. People who lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado suffered a condition known as “Colorado Brown Stain.” The patients all had mottled brown teeth that had fewer cavities than people who didn’t have them. Eventually in the 1940s, dentists and scientists discovered that high amounts of fluoride in the water caused the brown stain but also prevented cavities. By reducing the amount of fluoride where it wouldn’t stain the teeth, the dentists discovered that the fluoride still helped prevent cavities.
This is why your toothpaste and many municipal water supplies have fluoride in them. This is also why dentists offer fluoride treatments. It takes about a pint of fluoridated water to help prevent cavities and fluoride toothpaste helps prevent cavities as well. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can have your teeth cleaned and have a fluoride treatment that will help keep you from getting cavities.
Many dentists offer teeth or dental sealants that help keep your teeth or your children’s teeth from getting cavities. What the dentist does is paint the molars and back teeth with a special sealant that protects the teeth from the acid that attacks the teeth. It’s recommended that children have the sealants done to their teeth as they may not brush their teeth properly, assuming they do brush their teeth at all.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist regularly can help you keep your teeth healthy and cavity free. With fluoride treatments and regular cleanings, you’ll be able to have a healthy smile. Then, you won’t have to worry as much about cavities.