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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

If you have ever had a cavity, you know how painful these dental issues can be. Luckily, there are some simple and proven ways to prevent cavities from developing in the first place. Here are the facts you need to know about the causes of cavities and the best ways to avoid these problems in the future.

What Are Cavities, Anyway?

Simply put, a cavity is a hole in your tooth enamel. These holes are usually caused by plaque, an acidic substance that forms naturally from the interaction of the bacteria that are normally found in the human mouth and the foods and beverages that you eat and drink. The acids in plaque can cause damage to tooth enamel, which is a common way in which cavities form. Removing food particles from your mouth after eating can deprive bacteria of the fuel they need to produce plaque.

Preventing Plaque Buildup on Teeth

Most dentists agree that the best method for removing plaque and protecting your teeth against cavities is brushing properly. Flossing and scheduling regular teeth cleaning appointments can also provide added help in removing plaque from between teeth and protecting these vulnerable areas of your mouth.

How to Brush the Right Way

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste will protect your tooth enamel more effectively against damage from plaque and from brushing too hard. You should brush each one of your teeth with small, circular motions that cover every part of the tooth, including the back and, in some cases, the sides. Most dental professionals recommend spending two minutes or more on brushing your teeth each time you brush.

How often you brush will also have an impact on the health of your teeth. Brushing after each meal or snack is recommended. If this is not possible in some cases, be sure to rinse your mouth with water to remove some of the food debris and to reduce the growth of plaque inside your mouth.

Flossing Made Simple

Flossing can usually be accomplished in a few simple steps:

  • First measure out about a foot and a half to two feet of floss and wrap it around your fingers, leaving your index fingers and thumb free on each hand.
  • Then gently glide the floss between each pair of teeth, using a fresh section of the floss for every gliding pass.
  • Be careful not to floss too roughly. This can cause your gums to bleed and could increase your risk of infection.

Your dentist can recommend the right type of floss for your teeth to ensure that you feel comfortable flossing and that your teeth stay as healthy as possible.

Dental Cleaning Services

Plaque can hide in spaces between teeth or behind teeth. If not removed regularly, it hardens into a substance called calculus or, more commonly, tartar. Dental cleaning appointments are one of the most effective methods of removing this material from between and behind teeth. Your dentist and dental hygienist will work together to make your teeth cleaning appointment as pleasant and painless as possible. Professional cleaning for your teeth can reduce your risk of cavities. As a bonus, your breath will often smell fresher and your teeth will feel cleaner after your dental cleaning appointment.

The Importance of Fluoride

Many cities add fluoride to their public water supply. Fluoridated water can help to prevent cavities by increasing the hardness of dental enamel. The fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash products serves the same purpose and reduces the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride applications may also be available through your dentist’s office. These treatment options are used for children and adults and are usually available from your dentist in Hudson Valley.

Diet Matters

Most people understand the need for calcium to build stronger bones and teeth. Calcium and other minerals are usually available in dairy products, including lactose-free varieties of these foods and drinks. Lactose-sensitive individuals can also usually enjoy hard cheeses, which include Swiss and Parmesan, without undue gastronomical distress.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are preferable to canned or sweetened versions of these menu items. Cutting back on sweets and brushing after consuming sugary or starchy foods or drinks is a great way to reduce your risk of cavities and tooth decay.

What to Do If You Do Get a Cavity

If you do notice a hole or rough spot on the surface of one of your teeth, making an appointment with an affordable dentist in Hudson Valley is a good first move to treat this issue and to prevent further problems from developing. Your dentist will usually perform an examination to determine the extent of the problem. If a cavity or a patch of tooth decay is present, your dentist will usually clean away the affected portion of enamel and tissue before placing a filling in the hole to seal it shut.

Fillings are durable dental materials that are packed into the damaged area of the tooth and then smoothed to provide a replacement for the enamel and interior tissue. If an infection has set in or if your tooth is severely decayed, your dentist may recommend a root canal before the filling can be placed. This requires the removal of all the interior pulp and nerves of the tooth. A dental material called gutta-percha is used to fill in the roots before your filling is put into place. Fillings are available in an array of materials that include gold and silver as well as composite and amalgam.

If your filling makes up a significant percentage of the surface area of the tooth, a crown may be a good solution for reinforcing the tooth enamel and protecting it from additional harm. Your dentist will discuss the available options for crowns and will assist you in finding the right solution for your needs and your budget. By choosing a quality dentist in Hudson Valley, you can enjoy better protection against cavities and the right resolution for these issues when they occur.

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