Cavities should be addressed as early as possible to prevent serious damage.
We would all love to maintain a healthy smile, but unfortunately, oral health problems like cavities are a common concern for many people. Cavities refer to holes that form in the enamel of the teeth — these usually start off very small but can get larger and deeper over time. Caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth, which form plaque on the surface of the teeth, cavities can cause serious damage if they are not identified and resolved in their early stages. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get rid of cavities on your own — if you suspect an issue, it is advisable that you see your dentist as soon as possible. The good news, however, is that there are a few things you can do to prevent cavities from developing and to strengthen weakened areas of your enamel before a cavity forms.
1. Chew sugar-free gum
Research suggests that chewing on sugar-free gum after eating may actually help to remineralise the enamel, strengthening it against acid attacks. Chewing gum also promotes the production of saliva in the mouth, which helps to keep the mouth clean. An added bonus? Sugar-free gum will keep your breath smelling fresh until you are able to brush and floss your teeth.
2. Use a fluoride toothpaste
It’s likely that your dentist has advised you to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush in order to keep your smile in good condition. When selecting a toothpaste, it is best to choose one that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that remineralises the teeth and helps to prevent tooth decay by making the enamel more resistant to acid attacks.
3. Limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks
It’s important to understand that your dietary choices play an important role in both your general and oral health. Most of us enjoy the occasional sweet treat, but the reality is that sugar can cause some serious damage to the teeth. Try to reduce your consumption of sugar by incorporating more whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and switch out sugary soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices for water. If you do eat something sweet, make it part of a meal and try to avoid constant snacking throughout the day as this gives harmful bacteria and acids plenty of time to remove minerals from the teeth.
4. See your dentist
While a combination of consistent oral hygiene habits and good dietary choices will go a long way towards preventing tooth decay, it is important that you see your dentist for regular check-ups and cleans. In many cases, cavities do not cause any symptoms and often go unnoticed, especially in their early stages. The best way to identify cavities before they do serious damage is to visit your dentist every six months. The earlier your dentist diagnoses a cavity, the simpler the treatment is likely to be.
If your dentist does identify a cavity, they may recommend that you have a filling placed. They may also suggest that you have a fluoride treatment to prevent further issues in the future.
In the case of more severe decay, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment, a dental crown or even an extraction.
How can we help?
At Dental Pearls, we love to help our patients take proper care of their teeth. Our team is available to provide any advice that you need when it comes to your oral health. We also encourage all of our patients to come in and see us for regular check-ups so that we can assist in keeping your smile in optimal condition.
Our team offers a range of dental treatments, from preventive and cosmetic dentistry to restorative procedures and orthodontics — to find out more about the services that we provide, please have a look here.
If you would like to arrange a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here or give us a call on (07) 3210 2144.