Kicking Cavities: It Really Is Possible!
- Posted on: Aug 30 2017
Whomever it is who has felt the pain of a cavity, yourself or your child, this common dental problem can create quite a bit of mayhem. The discomfort that ensues is only made worse by the prospect of seeing the dentist for restorative care. We understand. Even though it is widely known that cavity repair is going to “make it all better,” the thought of having a painful tooth touched is stressful, to say the least. When treating children and adults of all ages, we keep this in mind and work in the gentlest possible manner to restore comfort. More than that, we like to partner with patients to help them avoid cavities altogether.
For ages, cavity prevention has been explained pretty simply: avoid sugar. It’s time for a new message.
Sugar consumption is only one factor in the potential for tooth decay, and it’s secondary. The primary cause of cavities is acid, not sugar. Sugar is the fuel that lights the fire. More precisely, sugar feeds bacteria that live in the mouth; then these microorganisms deposit acid on teeth and gums. Understanding how cavities might sneak up on you gives you ammunition to minimize this risk.
Some of the actions that may be taken to reduce your risk of cavities include:
- Eat, don’t graze. It doesn’t matter if you eat three meals a day, two, or five; what matters is that your mouth has time to restore pH balance after each meal. Grazing every hour or so inhibits this.
- Sip water often and consistently. Water consumption is not meant as a once-and-done guzzle in the morning. Hydration, as well as oral pH, are best supported with consumption throughout the day.
- Brush morning and night, and rinse after meals, snacks, and any drink other than water. Rinsing the mouth dilutes acid and cuts down on the sugar residue that feeds bacteria.
- Floss! Flossing is the only way to possibly prevent cavities from developing in between teeth. Don’t just floss at night; keep a roll of floss on you in case food becomes lodged in between teeth during a mid-day meal.
Special Attention for Little Teeth
Children need a bit more help with cavity prevention, such as:
- Routine dental care beginning by age 1.
- Water only at bed-time.
- Tooth-brushing with an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
- Rinse a child’s mouth after she is given liquid medication.
- Consider dental sealants or topical fluoride.
We’re here to support you and your family with proactive dental care. Call 585-248-2383 to schedule your visit.