Cavity Prevention in Erlanger
Cavity prevention couldn’t be more important to enjoying a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. How do you keep tooth decay away? With excellent dental hygiene at-home, a balanced, nutritious diet, and regular checkups and cleanings from Dr. Sand Wall.
What Are Cavities?
Also known as dental caries, cavities are holes or lesions that form on the surface of the teeth. They actually begin as weak spots inside the tooth. These areas are visible as a white spot on the tooth enamel. When a weak spot in the tooth is not strengthened with fluoride or better hygiene habits, the enamel eventually breaks, forming a cavity that requires filling.
What Causes Cavities?
Dental cavities are caused by plaque, the clear, sticky substance that forms on your teeth throughout the day. When plaque is exposed to the sugars in your favorite snacks, the combination releases acids that slowly weaken tooth enamel. It’s not just candy, soda, and ice cream that causes cavities -- the simple carbohydrates in pretzels, crackers, and non-whole wheat breads and pastas are also common offenders.
How to Prevent Cavities?
Cavity prevention requires a combination of good dental hygiene with a balanced, nutritious, low-sugar diet. Brushing for two minutes, at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and decay- and infection-free.
Acids form in the mouth every time you eat -- whether you sit down to a full meal or grab a small snack on the go. People who are especially prone to cavities may need to reconsider their eating habits, switching from snacks and small meals to three full meals a day.
Dental Sealants and Fluoride Treatments
Your dentist is equipped with treatments to provide extra protection against cavities. Exposure to fluoride, for example, strengthens tooth enamel in a process known as remineralization. If you are not receiving enough fluoride daily -- like through your fluoride toothpaste or by drinking fluoridated tap water -- your dentist can apply a quick treatment after your checkup and cleaning.
Another option for cavity prevention is dental sealants. These thin coverings are painted directly onto the surface of the molars, or the teeth in the back of the mouth. It’s easy to miss certain areas while brushing the pits and fissures on the surface of these teeth, making molars especially vulnerable to cavities. Dental sealants act as a protective shield. They are painless, dry in a matter of minutes, and can provide years of protection against the acids that cause cavities.
While patients of all ages can benefit from additional decay prevention, cavity-prone children are especially good candidates for fluoride treatments and dental sealants.
Don’t Ignore Your Preventive Care!
When was your last visit to Dr. Sand Wall? Remember that six month checkups and cleanings are an important aspect of cavity prevention. Request your appointment today!
Our office is located in Erlanger, and we warmly welcome patients from all surrounding areas, including Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Edgewood, Fort Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, and Taylor Mill.