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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

You may think of cavities as a problem that only children have. In fact, cavities can affect anyone who has teeth. This includes toddlers, senior citizens and everyone in between. Your dentist can often provide you with advice on the right way to brush, floss, and care for your teeth. By working with an affordable dentist in South Hampton Roads, you can take care of your dental health more effectively to enjoy greater confidence in all your interactions with others. Seeing your dentist regularly and getting regular cleanings is also an important part of a proper dental health care routine. Understanding how cavities form can go a long way toward reducing your risk of these serious dental issues.

How Do Cavities Happen?

Most cavities are the direct result of plaque, which can cause damage to tooth enamel. Plaque is a sticky substance that is formed by the combination of bacteria that live inside your mouth and the foods you consume. If food and sugary drinks are not removed from your teeth by brushing or rinsing, they can be used as fuel for bacteria, which then multiply and combine with that food to create plaque.

Plaque is highly acidic and can wear away your tooth enamel. This material is hard and provides a protective shell around the softer and more sensitive interior of your tooth. If plaque does break through the enamel, your tooth could become infected or severely decayed in a relatively short amount of time. This is why it is so important to remove plaque as completely as possible after each meal, snack or sweet drink.

You may not notice a smaller cavity until it begins to hurt or the sharp edges of the damaged tooth enamel hurt your gums or your tongue. Seeking regular dental treatment is essential to address these issues as quickly as possible. A cavity will not go away on it’s own, it will only grow bigger and become more painful as it reaches further inside the tooth. Your dentist can also provide you with some recommendations to help you prevent cavities in the future.

Proven Strategies to Fight Cavities

Some of the best ways to fight cavities and tooth decay are also the simplest. Brushing your teeth, flossing and rinsing away any food particles can reduce your chances of developing tooth decay and can promote fresher breath and healthier teeth for you and your family. Here are the most important components to include in your family dental hygiene plan.

Brush and Floss Every Day

Taking the time to brush after every meal, snack or sugary drink is obviously the most effective way to remove plaque. Most of us, however, don’t have the time to devote to brushing our teeth more than twice or three times a day. Making sure that you and your family members spend at least two minutes both morning and evening in brushing your teeth is a great way to make sure your teeth are cleaner and more protected against cavities.

If you live in an area with fluoridated water, you may think that you do not need fluoride in your toothpaste as well. The fluoride in toothpaste, however, offers added protection for your teeth. Fluoride interacts with your tooth enamel to make it harder and to reduce the risk of cavities caused by plaque. Using a fluoride toothpaste is an easy way to protect your teeth from decay and cavities on a daily basis.

Flossing should be done at least once daily and should include the places between teeth. Your dentist can provide you with added information on the best type of floss to use and the right way to floss your teeth. Be sure to use a fresh section of the floss for every up-and-down motion to reduce the risk of spreading plaque from one area to another.

Eat Healthy

Including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet will help you to make sure that you are receiving the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Calcium-rich dairy products and green leafy vegetables like kale are also great additions to your diet and can promote healthier teeth and gums. Choosing to eat healthier will have a positive effect on the health and strength of your teeth, and your heart and waistline.

Pay a Visit to Your Dentist

Scheduling regular visits with your dentist in South Hampton Roads is important for each member of your family. Your dentist can check on the condition of your teeth. If necessary, he or she can recommend added steps that you and your family can take to improve your dental health. This can help you to avoid serious issues that can occur in the absence of dental care visits.

Common Treatments for Cavities

Fillings and crowns often go hand-in-hand in treating severe cavities. Very small holes in your teeth may be resolved with an application of sealant in your dentist’s office. Fillings, however, are necessary for larger holes or cavities that reach into the center of the tooth. These fillings may be fabricated from silver, gold or other materials to produce an attractive appearance at a price you and your family can afford.

Root canals can provide some much needed pain relief for infected or inflamed tissue inside your tooth. Your dentist will typically remove the affected tissue to hollow out your tooth. Nerve endings will also be removed to provide fast relief for pain. Once the tooth is ready, your dentist will use a specialized dental material to fill in the roots and will place a filling in your tooth. A crown is usually required to provide added protection for the damaged and potentially fragile outer shell of the tooth.

A crown may also be recommended if your tooth has a large filling that requires added support to stay in place. Your dentist will recommend the most appropriate set of solutions for your dental care needs.

By working with your dentist in South Hampton Roads, you can often determine the best way to approach your dental issues and to enjoy the healthiest teeth and the brightest smiles for your family and yourself.

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