Cavities begin as small pits of decay in your enamel. Without treatment, they can wreak havoc on your teeth and health. For example, untreated cavities can lead to major infections, which can be dangerous in the mouth. Additionally, cavities can spread to other teeth, creating more dental work. One of the best ways to keep a healthy mouth is to avoid cavities.
Luckily, there are practical steps that you can take every day to keep cavities at bay.
Brush with Precision
Many of us know that we need to brush our teeth every day. But, it may not be a priority, especially if you have hectic schedules. Skipping an evening once in a blue moon isn’t going to be a huge deal. Although, you should be as consistent as possible. Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes.
Along with brushing, you need to use the right technique. When brushing, you should use gentle circular motions across all surfaces of your teeth. This method helps break up plaque and leftover food particles. If plaque remains on your teeth, it will create acid that breaks down your enamel. Over time, this will cause decay or cavities in your teeth.
Master the Art of Flossing
Another crucial habit to help avoid cavities is flossing. You need to floss once a day to remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. For example, your toothbrush can have a hard time getting rid of plaque under your gum line and between your teeth. Therefore, you must use floss to get rid of plaque. Additionally, floss can help stimulate the soft tissues of the gums, making them healthier.
When you floss, make sure that you do so gently. Glide the floss between your teeth, and curve it around each tooth. As you floss, use a long piece of floss (about 12-18 inches) so that you can use a new section between each tooth. This prevents the spread of bacteria between your teeth.
Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Choices
Your diet can directly impact your oral health. For example, a diet that is high in sugar and acid can increase your chances of developing cavities. Harmful bacteria feed on sugar, turning it into acid. As a result, this acid will eat away at your enamel. You should reduce your sugar intake to lower your chances of tooth decay.
One way to do this is to opt for tooth-friendly foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. If you are a snacker, you should keep an eye on your eating habits. Frequent snacking exposes your teeth to sugars and acids more often. This can increase your risk of cavities. When snacking, choose foods like cheese, yogurt, or nuts. These are much healthier options that can benefit your oral and overall health.
Water, Your Best Friend
Your mouth needs to stay moist to be healthy. While our bodies need water to stay healthy and alive, our mouths need water too. Drinking water throughout the day helps maintain saliva production and a moist oral environment. Saliva is vital for oral health because it helps wash away food particles and harmful acids.