Here in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, we are no strangers to advanced technology! We see it on just about every street corner of the city! We know that technology comes with certain headaches, but in general, it can greatly improve our lives!
Cavities are an extremely important aspect of oral health because they are so prevalent, but also because they can cause a massive amount of damage! If a cavity were to go untreated, it would eventually lead to the complete loss of a tooth. The decay would simply burrow further and further into the tooth until it was no longer sustainable.
The good news is that cavities are very, very preventable! The problem is that many patients aren’t willing, or aren’t aware, or the various things they can do to protect their smiles from this damaging problem. That’s what we want to talk about today because as a prosthodontist office, we understand that the major problems all begin in the same place: minor decay.
Below, we have selected five simple ways for you to protect your teeth from decay with a brief explanation of how each process protects your teeth so that you can see the value in the daily tasks that you’re just “supposed to do.” Let’s get started!
1. Great Brushing Routine
The way you brush your teeth actually has a massive impact on the effectiveness of that time. In other words, if you don’t brush your teeth well, there’s not much point in doing it! The brushing itself will remove about 60% of the harmful bacteria from the visible surfaces of your teeth.
We recommend that you brush for at least two minutes twice each day. Spend about 30 seconds in each quadrant of your smile brushing in all directions to optimize your time! Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a quality toothpaste that contains fluoride.
2. Floss Well EVERY DAY
Just as your brushing routine removes bacteria, so does using floss! As you saw, brushing only removes about 60% of the bacteria from your teeth. Floss can help with the other 40%, which is probably hiding between your teeth when the brush can’t reach!
When you floss your teeth, you should make a C shape around each tooth and move the floss up and down the entire surface of your tooth. This will remove much more bacteria than simply running the floss in a straight line between your teeth, which is what most of us are guilty of doing!
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Bacteria likes to hang out in your mouth because there’s a lot of potential food in there! Especially when you eat the kinds of food that bacteria loves: sticky and sweet. Foods that are filled with sugar, carbohydrates, and starches are the most harmful to your smile. By eating a balanced diet high in fiber and protein, you will significantly cut back the amount of damage to your smile!
It’s not just the foods you eat, however. The drinks you consume will also play a role. For example, sipping a bottle of water throughout the day is much better for your teeth than sipping a soda. The water replenishes your saliva and washes food particles away while the soda bathes your teeth in acid and sugar all day! Remember that these choices of diet have a great impact on the amount of decay you will see.
4. Set up Routine Appointments
One of the best ways to protect your teeth from cavities is to maintain routine cleanings and exams every six months. These six month cleanings are essential to the overall health of your smile. When you come in, we are able to remove bacteria that is hiding in the nooks and crannies of your smile before it can cause damage.
If damage has already occurred, we are able to catch that damage quickly so that your restoration process is simple and quick! Once we have stopped the decay, you can return to your normal life without any concern. The chance that you will need major repairs or dental work drop drastically when you are coming in for a cleaning every six months.
5. Consider Dental Sealants
One last thing you should consider for your smile is the use of dental sealants. We don’t recommend sealants to every patient, but they are great for patients who are prone to developing decay. Children and teenagers are especially likely to develop decay because of their diet and lack of oral health care.
However, there are some adults who are also very prone to decay and cavities. This is generally due to a genetic shortcoming that hinders the patient from being able to protect his/her own smile from damage. For example, your teeth might have very deep crevices or very thin enamel. In either case, dental sealants can provide an extra layer of protection between your vulnerable teeth and the harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Get a Healthier Smile!
Cavities are a huge problem here in Los Angeles, just as they are in all parts of the country. With a few extra steps, you can protect your smile from decay and enjoy your natural teeth for many decades to come!
Contact us today to set up your next appointment where we can talk about how to best protect your teeth from the problems of cavities! We hope to hear from you very soon!