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New Castle Dental Associates
92 Reads Way, Suite 200, New Castle, DE 19720

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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

Most people don’t consider brushing and flossing as very important to their health. It’s just another task to complete once or twice a day. However, maintaining good oral hygiene can significantly impact your good overall health, so don’t skimp on your daily brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association has published guidelines on maintaining good oral health, and twice-daily brushing and flossing are the first two items on the list. When you understand what causes a cavity, it can be easier to prevent its onset.

A cavity is a hole in a tooth that usually occurs due to bacteria and tooth acids that have eroded the tooth enamel. If it’s not treated promptly, then it will continue deteriorating and may develop into an abscess. If treated promptly, however, it can usually be remedied with a small filling that will make the tooth functional once again, and you should be pain-free. If the decay isn’t treated and travels to the pulp, then you’ll likely need a root canal and a dental crown to restore functionality.

If you need a root canal, you’ll probably be experiencing a substantial amount of pain. If you have an abscess or a large cavity, don’t delay seeking dental treatment because the infection can travel to your major organs and throughout your body. This can be life-threatening, so seek treatment promptly.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Although many advances in the field of dentistry have enabled whiter teeth, more even teeth, invisible braces, and so forth, the best method for preventing cavities is good oral hygiene. It’s boring and mundane, but it’s true. Brushing and flossing twice daily at a minimum, using an antibacterial mouthwash, and having regular dental checkups will ensure that you have the best oral hygiene possible.

Although it may be obvious, after you brush your teeth and floss before bedtime, don’t eat or drink anything but plain water. Otherwise, you should brush and floss again to ensure that there are no residual bacteria or food particles in your mouth that can cause decay to start while you’re sleeping.

Even though skipping your nightly routine once won’t cause your teeth to fall out immediately, skipping can easily become a habit, and that may eventually cause you to lose your teeth. The following tips can help you maintain the best oral health possible.

  1. Brush and floss a minimum of twice each day. Ideally, you should brush and floss after each snack and meal, but that’s not always possible. When it isn’t, then rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water.
  2. Use a mouthwash at least once daily, preferably right before bedtime, since it will remove any residual bacteria.
  3. Visit your dentist at least once a year, twice if possible. Your dentist can provide you tips on improving your oral hygiene and may be able to catch issues that you’ve missed.
  4. Ask your dentist about sealants and topical treatments. They can prevent food acids from reaching your tooth enamel and prevent food particles from becoming trapped in the crevices between your teeth and gums.
  5. Drink some amount of tap water each day. Most municipalities now fluoridate their water supply, whereas the bottled water that most people now drink has had the minerals and fluoride removed. Fluoride strengthens your tooth enamel, so you’ll have stronger teeth.
  6. Eat foods that are healthy for your teeth. The same foods that are healthy for your body are also healthy for your teeth, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy cheese, unsweetened tea and coffee, and sugar-free gum.
  7. Ask your New Castle dentist for recommendations on improving your oral health. They’ve spent decades in training and learning to treat dental issues, so their insights are invaluable.

What Types of Treatments Are Available for Cavity Prevention?

Many traditional treatments are available to help fight cavities as well as some innovative new treatments. You no longer need to suffer from plaque, cavities, and gum disease, and your dentist can surely add to information on the following.

Will Fillings Help Prevent Cavities?

Although a filling won’t prevent a cavity, it can prevent it from getting larger or spreading to adjacent teeth. If you treat a cavity while it’s small, then a filling will usually be sufficient.

What Does a Crown Do?

If you have a larger cavity, you’ll need a larger filling. However, larger fillings have a high failure rate, so dentists generally prefer to do a root canal and top it with a dental crown. The crown will match your natural teeth in size, shape, and color, and it will function the same as a natural tooth.

Why Do Some Patients Require a Root Canal?

A root canal is used when the infection in a tooth has spread to the pulpy interior, and it helps save the tooth. Otherwise, you’ll need an artificial tooth. When performing a root canal, your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth and disinfect the area. The root will then be sealed and the canal filled with gutta-percha. The entire tooth will be covered with a dental crown that will look, feel, and function like your natural tooth, and your tooth will once again become functional.

What New Cavity Treatment Techniques Are Available?

New treatments are continuously being developed to treat dental issues, but the best defense is still good oral hygiene. One of the newest treatments uses a fluorescent light to detect the presence of tooth decay before it surfaces or can start to create a cavity. If decay is detected, then a sealant is applied that prevents the decay from spreading to adjacent teeth.

Another newer treatment protocol is a tooth filling that releases fluoride around the tooth so that the decay doesn’t spread. However, preventing decay in the first place is always the best solution.

Brushing and flossing a minimum of twice each day is vital to your good overall health as well as your good dental health. Good daily hygiene as well as regular dental checkups, and a healthy diet are the mainstays of good oral health and good physical health that will keep your teeth healthy throughout your lifetime.

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New Castle Dental Associates

92 Reads Way, Suite 200, New Castle, DE 19720

(302) 352-2321