You probably know that a dental cavity is a hole in a tooth. But how do we avoid cavities? Well, the best way to prevent cavities is simply to maintain good oral hygiene through brushing and flossing. Some simple changes in the diet can also help prevent tooth decay. If youa��re interested in becoming an intra-oral dental assistant or pursuing dental hygienist training, you should make sure that youa��re familiar with tooth decay and the best prevention strategies.
To get you started, here are some of the most popular cavity prevention strategies.
Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking
Leta��s get the basics out of the way first: Brushing your teeth using toothpaste that contains fluoride after every meal, or at least twice daily, is very important. If you cana��t brush after a meal, try to at least rinse your mouth with water. Over time, these good habits will help you maintain good dental health, which will no doubt save you countless problems. Lastly, if youa��ve had problems with tooth decay and cavities in the past, it might be a good idea to invest in enamel-repairing toothpaste. There are wonderful options by major toothpaste brands available out there and though this type of toothpaste will be more costly, ita��ll be worth it.
Consider dental sealants
A sealant is a protective plastic coating that can be applied by a dental professional to the chewing surface of back teeth. A�It will protect tooth enamel from plaque, acid and other problems. Sealants can last up to 10 years and need to be checked from time to time, just to ensure that theya��re still intact. While sealants represent an extra cost, they add additional protection that make the difference between a healthy tooth and one with cavities. Ask your dentist or a professional with dental assistant training for more information on sealants and whether or not they are right for you.
Consume items that are good for your teeth
Some food items and beverages are better for your teeth than others. For example, if you tend to snack or drink beverages other than water during the day, you might be helping the bacteria in your mouth produce acid that can destroy your enamel over time. Snacking or drinking during the day means that your teeth are under constant attack. On the other hand, eating fresh fruits and vegetables can increase saliva flow. Drinking unsweetened coffee, tea or chewing sugar-free gum can also help dislodge food particles.
Ask about antibacterial treatments
Finally, if youa��re naturally vulnerable to tooth decay, you should ask your dental professional about antibacterial treatments. Your dentist can recommend products like a special antibacterial mouth wash that can help reduce the destructive bacteria in your mouth. Eliminating this bacteria will give you a better fighting chance against tooth decay and cavities.