Cavities form in your mouth as bacterial acids demineralize your tooth enamel. The displacement of the minerals that make up the tooth material cause holes to form.
These holes, or cavities, can worsen over time, breaching the dentin and even the pulp of the tooth. Once the pulp is exposed to the bacteria of the mouth, the tooth may become infected, requiring an extensive treatment, such as a root canal to remedy the damage. As a result, it is best to treat a cavity in the early stages with a dental filling.
In some cases, a minor cavity may even resolve if the tooth is regularly treated with fluoride. Fluoride remineralizes the tooth material by combining with displaced minerals from the enamel to create new tooth material.
Nevertheless, cavities are avoidable. Here are a few ways to limit the number of cavities that form in your mouth.
See Your Dentist For Preventive Treatments
During your routine visits to the dentist, your provider may offer multiple treatments that can help prevent the formation of cavities, such as dental sealants and fluoride treatments. These treatments can be applied quickly and painlessly to protect your teeth.
A sealant is a plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. The treatment is applied as a liquid and rapidly hardened into place with a special light, providing a barrier between your teeth and the acids that cause decay.
When applying sealants, the dentist targets the chewing surfaces of the back teeth because these areas are deeply grooved. The grooves allow food particles and plaque to settle on the surfaces, inciting decay.
The dentist may also apply a concentrated fluoride product to the teeth to help you avoid cavities. The dental professional allows the product to rest on the teeth for the prescribed time so that it is absorbed by the tooth material before the excess is rinsed from the mouth.
Rinse With Water After Meals and Snacks
In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, consider rinsing your mouth with water after meals and snacks to reduce the likelihood of cavities. The water sweeps leftover particles of food from the mouth. Additionally, the clear, odorless liquid dilutes oral acids. The weakened acids cause less damage to the teeth.
If you decide to swallow some of the water, your benefits increase. The water helps to hydrate your body, lessening your chance of dry mouth, which is associated with higher amounts of decay.
To learn about more ways to avoid cavities, schedule a consultation with a family dentist, such as Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D.