Updated: Feb 6
Preventing cavities is better than curing them! Healthy teeth are important, and healthy teeth need less dental care. That is why it is important to prevent cavities. But how do cavities form and can you brush them away?
How do cavities form?
Cavities are caused by bacteria in plaque that break down sugars into acids. Plaque is the sticky, yellowish-white layer around teeth. The acids that are formed damage the enamel on your teeth. The enamel protects your teeth, but this protection disappears when it is attacked. This gives the acids free play on the more vulnerable layers underneath. The dentist calls this demineralisation.
Fortunately, after just one acid attack, nothing happens: a weak spot repairs itself. However, the risk of cavities increases when there are several such acid attacks in one day, for example if you eat and/or drink a lot of sweets at once. Poor oral hygiene also increases the risk of cavities.
Brushing away cavities; is that possible?
Brushing your teeth is important in the prevention of cavities. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and thus the bacteria that attack tooth enamel. This reduces the risk of cavities and it is even possible to brush away an incipient cavity.
You read it correctly! Are you on time? Then you can brush away an incipient cavity in your teeth. The prerequisite for this is that the tooth enamel has not yet been truly damaged. Only then can the tooth tissue repair itself. This is called remineralisation. Brushing properly removes bacteria and starts the natural recovery of the tooth.
Prevent cavities with our tips
You want to prevent cavities because that's how you keep your teeth healthy. If you brush away 100% of plaque and never eat sugar, you will never have any cavities. Of course, this is a utopia, but you can do a lot yourself to prevent cavities. Here are a few tips from the family dentist in League City. It will make you feel more comfortable when you are in the waiting room at your next visit to the dentist.
Tip 1: Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste
It is important to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities. Fluoride toothpaste can strengthen tooth enamel, which can help prevent cavities and tooth decay. It is also important to brush your teeth twice a day.
Tip 2: Floss your teeth
Brushing alone cannot reach all areas of your mouth. For healthy teeth, use dental floss. This will also clean the spaces between your teeth and remove plaque. It is important to floss your teeth once a day to ensure proper cleaning.
Tip 3: Don't brush your teeth after eating
Brushing your teeth quickly after eating is a good idea, right? No, it is not! The sugars and acids in your food already attack your tooth enamel to some extent. Do you brush your teeth after eating? Then you can damage the enamel even further. So wait about 30 to 60 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth.
Tip 4: Stimulate the production of saliva
It may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy, but sugar-free chewing gum really does help against cavities. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production in the mouth and saliva fights the bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. Sugar-free chewing gum also helps break down acids.
Tip 5: Avoid dry mouth
Bacteria thrive in a dry mouth and can cause cavities faster. So keep your saliva flowing. Sip on some water or chew sugar-free gum!
Tip 6: Have your teeth checked periodically
Prevention is better than cure. That is why it is wise to have your teeth checked periodically (every six months) by your dentist in League City.