If you’re frequently learning about small cavities at your dental exams, it’s time to make a few changes to your oral hygiene routine. Depending on the size of the cavity, you may even be able to send it running and reverse tooth decay through updated diet, oral hygiene and daily habits.
The formation of small dental cavities can be reversed by a process called remineralization, when the deposition of minerals is applied to damaged areas of a tooth. Fluoride works by helping to remineralize your teeth in two ways, internally and externally.
When you eat or drink fluoride in small amounts as a child, it enters the bloodstream and becomes part of developing strong permanent teeth. Swallowed fluoride also becomes part of the saliva in your mouth and gives your teeth a strengthening bath from the outside.
Applying fluoride directly onto teeth by the use of a fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse containing fluoride is a great way to coat the teeth with a healthy boost. Both children and adults can also receive a professional fluoride treatment from the dentist. When applied to the teeth’s exterior, fluoride helps to speed remineralization, rebuilding your enamel.
While we’re all well aware that brushing and flossing help cleanse and protect your enamel, there are other helpers that are less obvious in reducing your risks of developing tooth decay. Adding these anti-cavity efforts into your daily life will lead to a stronger, beautiful smile that’s healthy and cavity free.
The best way you can avoid cavities is to check your at-home oral hygiene routine to see where it’s lacking. Proper brushing takes at a minimum of two minutes – that’s right, 120 seconds! If you brush your teeth in under a minute, and don’t take the time to properly brush all tooth surfaces, you’re not getting your teeth really clean. To properly brush your teeth:
If you have advanced tooth decay, no number of home methods or remedies will heal the cavity. You should visit your dentist as soon as possible for professional assistance. They will fill the cavity and get you back to square one, so that you can prevent decay from taking hold again.
Check-in with Tompkins Dental for tips on how you can prevent future tooth decay and avoid fillings with a little extra care.