No one enjoys a cavity. Not only are they uncomfortable, but without treatment they can lead to more serious complications, such as painful abscesses or infections. Fortunately, there are ways you can help avoid tooth decay. By caring for your smile, seeing your dentist, and watching what you eat and drink, you can help safeguard your smile against cavities.
7 Ways You can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
- Floss Every Day: Flossing removes food particles from between your teeth, preventing both cavities and gingivitis. If you brush your teeth you still need to floss, since a toothbrush’s bristles can’t reach between the teeth. Both children and adults should floss each night before bed.
- Choose the Right Toothbrush: Brushing your teeth helps remove food particles and control the severity of plaque buildup. However, you should always pick the right toothbrush. We suggest one with soft bristles. Brushing too hard with medium or hard bristles can potentially damage tooth enamel.
- Have Your Teeth Cleaned Regularly: You should see your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning. A cleaning is the only way to completely remove plaque buildup from the teeth.
- Don’t Ignore Discomfort: If you notice tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures or a persistent headache, contact your dentist. Discomfort could be a sign of a cavity and requires immediate treatment.
- Avoid Sugary Drinks: Drinks high in sugar and other starches can increase the risk of tooth decay. Instead, try drinking more water!
- Eat Healthier Foods: Fresh fruit and vegetables are low in sugar and starch, in addition, rougher fruit and vegetables (apples, broccoli, and carrots for example) can actually help remove plaque when you eat them.
- Don’t Ignore Dry Mouth: If you have persistent dry mouth, talk to your dentist. Without saliva, your mouth has trouble removing food particles, allowing harmful bacteria to thrive.
Dr. Brent Engelberg and his highly-skilled team are here for you. Schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at (847) 230-9703.