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Ballston Dental Arts
900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

Anyone who believes that it isn’t a big deal to be lazy about their dental health care from time to time could be in for an unpleasant awakening. Having poor dental health can lead to serious repercussions in terms of your overall health and wellness. While tooth decay and cavities may not seem like such a big deal, they can lead to an increased risk of developing any number of serious illnesses. This means that you need to remain vigilant when it comes to preventing tooth decay from setting in. The best way to start is to learn about what causes tooth decay and how you can prevent cavities from happening.

Simply put, cavities are holes that form in a tooth. This happens when the bacteria that lives inside of your mouth turns food particles into a type of acid. This acid combined with the bacteria leads to the formation of plaque. Eventually, plaque will wear down and destroys the enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth decay. Fortunately, tooth decay and cavities are easily addressed by your local family dentist.

Fillings are generally used to treat small cavities, while crowns are utilized in treating larger ones. If your dentist finds that you have decay within the pulp of your tooth that has led to an infection, he or she may recommend that you receive a root canal.

Seven Tips for Preventing Cavities

Failing to establish a consistent dental health care routine can lead to an increased risk of disease and other issues. While it may be tempting to skip out on brushing twice a day, it’s best that you maintain the habit that so that you don’t fall into a pattern of dental neglect. Severely neglecting your oral health can lead to you losing your teeth due to tooth decay and gum disease. Preventing these issues from occurring is best done by adhering to basic at home dental care routines, as well as by seeing a dentist in Arlington on a regular basis. Following these seven tips for preventing cavities will help you in achieving a healthy and beautiful smile.

  1. Regularly brush your teeth. Brushing your teeth should be done at least twice a day while utilizing a fluoride toothpaste. You should brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes. It’s best to brush your teeth after consuming meals and snacks, but if you are unable to do this you can rinse your mouth out with water after eating.
  2. Incorporate mouthwash into your routine. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride twice a day after you’ve brushed your teeth can increase your protection against tooth decay.
  3. Routinely visit your dentist’s office. Most dentists recommend that you have examinations and tooth cleanings done by a dental professional every six months. Depending on your unique needs, your dentist may suggest that you schedule appointments on a more frequent basis.
  4. Have dental sealants applied to your teeth. Dental sealants cover the grooves and nooks and crannies that tend to trap food particles. This preventative treatment can last for up to ten years if you take good care of your dental health.
  5. Consume tap water. The majority of cities add fluoride to their municipal water supply. This means tap water can be a great way to prevent cavities. Tap water helps remineralize your teeth, while water in general allows you to produce more saliva to assist in rinsing out harmful bacteria from the mouth. If you exclusively consume bottled water, try to mix in tap water so that you can prevent decay and cavities.
  6. Eat foods that are good for your teeth. While you may find it surprising, there are certain foods that you can eat that will make your teeth healthier. Fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese are a few of these foods. Additionally, you should drink unsweetened beverages and chew sugar-free gum to assist in cavity prevention.

Treating Cavities

Fortunately, there are many treatment options for cavities. There are also a variety of techniques and advancements in dental care that help you fight bacteria, plaque and acid before they can cause serious damage to your teeth and gums.

Fillings

Your family dentist will use a filling to treat a small cavity. During the procedure, your dentist will take out the decayed area of the tooth and replace it with filling.

Crowns

Crowns, also called caps, are placed over the tooth in instances when you have a large cavity. These caps return your tooth to a normal shape and size.

Root Canal

Decay can spread into the pulp of your tooth, leading to an infection. When this occurs, you will need your dentist to perform a root canal. During the procedure, your dentist will remove both the pulp and nerve. He or she will then seal the roots.

New advancements in cavity prevention and treatment are being made every day. One advancement that researchers are testing is a fluorescent light that locates areas of tooth decay before cavities form. This allows dental practitioners to apply sealants or supplements that will prevent a cavity from forming. Another type of experimental treatment is a type of tooth filling that releases fluoride in the area surrounding the affected tooth. This prevents tooth decay from spreading further.

While new advancements in techniques and technology may make it easier to detect and prevent cavities, the best thing you can do is take proper care of your teeth. This means brushing twice daily. It also means flossing at a minimum of once a day. You should also be making appointments to see your dentist in Arlington on a regular basis. Another preventative measure that you can take is to eat a diet consisting of foods that are healthy for your teeth.

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900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 291-3111

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