Cavities are all too prevalent, especially when you consider how easy it is to prevent them from developing. Your West Chester, OH dentist wants to help you understand how cavities form, so you can take steps at home to avoid them.
Why Do I Get Cavities?
Plaque is a sticky film that clings to your teeth and contains saliva, bacteria, and food particles. When you consume carbohydrates (sugars and starches), bacteria feed on them and produce acid as a result. As the acid sits on your teeth, it starts to eat away at the outer layer of enamel and create holes that result in cavities.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
The easiest way to prevent cavities is to interrupt the acid-producing process. You can do this easily by developing good oral hygiene habits to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth when you wake up, before bedtime, and after meals whenever possible.
- Use dental floss to clean the spaces between teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Ask your hygienist if you should be using interdental cleaners or a certain type of floss to clean around your dental work.
- Rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride and antiseptic ingredients that kill cavity-causing plaque.
- Drink plenty of fluoridated water throughout the day to keep you hydrated and flush away cavity-causing bacteria.
- Follow a healthy diet and avoid foods high in carbs that provide fuel for bacteria. Some examples are candy and starchy foods like chips and pretzels.
- Ask your dentist or hygienist about supplemental fluoride to strengthen your teeth if you are on a well or live in an area that doesn’t have fluoridated public water.
- Schedule dental exams and teeth cleanings with your dentist and hygienist every six months or as recommended for your needs.
Schedule Your Next Dental Exam and Cleaning
At the office of Joel R. Koch DDS, we provide the education, treatment, and support our West Chester, OH patients need to keep their teeth and gums healthy. All you have to do is keep up with your regularly scheduled appointments, and together we can work to ensure that your smile is as healthy as possible.
If you have more oral hygiene questions for our dentist or are due for a dental exam and teeth cleaning, please call us at (513) 779-2200.