Cavities are perhaps one of the most common oral health conditions people face. However, they are preventable and treatable. One of our goals as dental professionals is to ensure your smile stays healthy and problem-free, which includes helping you prevent cavities—both at home and at the dental office.
What Are Cavities?
A cavity, also known as tooth decay or dental caries, is a tiny hole in the tooth that can grow over time if not treated. Why might you have a hole in your tooth? It is plaque, the sticky biofilm that causes tooth decay. Cavities permanently damage teeth and are caused by:
- Sipping sugary drinks
- Poor dental hygiene
At first, a cavity affects the hard outer layer of the tooth, but it can continue to grow and spread, affecting deeper layers of the tooth. Untreated tooth decay can cause toothaches, tooth loss, and infection. Fortunately, our Fairfax dental office offers preventive and restorative dental care to combat cavities.
Practice Excellent Oral Hygiene to Prevent Tooth Decay
Oral hygiene is critical for maintaining a healthy smile for life. The mouth teems with bacteria, most of which is harmless. Excellent oral hygiene––such as brushing and flossing––can control bacteria and strengthen your teeth and gums.
Without proper dental care, bacteria can lead to oral diseases, such as tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Certain medications that reduce saliva flow cause dry mouth that leads to cavities because your mouth isn’t naturally washing away food particles.
Here are some ways you can prevent cavities from impacting your oral health and your smile’s appearance.
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice each day.
- Floss every day, especially after meals.
- Rinse with mouthwash daily to remove food debris and bacteria.
- Eat a nutritious diet and limit foods and drinks high in sugar.
- Avoid tobacco use and smoking.
- Get routine dental exams and cleanings from your dentist.
Call Us Today for a Healthier Smile
Dr. Fairfax and our dental team offer fluoride treatments and preventive dental care to patients who would like extra help fighting cavities and keeping their teeth as healthy as possible. We look forward to hearing from you!