When you were a kid do you remember your reaction when your mom told you it was time to brush your teeth? Did it go something like this “Why mom”, or did you roll your eyes? Did you try to make your mom think you brushed your teeth by running your toothbrush under the water? Did she fall for it? She probably didn’t, because moms understand the need for proper oral hygiene and the reasons behind it – Cavity Prevention!
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that cavities are a silent epidemic among children and are considered “one of the most common chronic health problems of childhood in the United States.” The statistics agree:
20%of children ages 5-11 years have at least untreated cavity.
13%or 12-19-year-olds have at least one untreated cavity.
25%of 5-19-year-olds from low-income families have untreated cavities.
Children aren’t the only ones affected by cavities with about 90% of adults reporting they have one cavity and 25% admitting they have untreated cavities. How can cavity prevention become a priority in our daily oral hygiene routine? Read below to discover some common ways to prevent cavities and how some cities have gotten involved with tooth decay prevention.
5 Cavity Prevention Tips
Dental Sealants: Sealants help prevent food getting to all those nooks and crannies that your toothbrush can’t reach. Dental sealants are made of a thin plastic layer that covers your molars, preventing plaque and acid buildup. Sealants are great for school-aged children and can last up to 10 years, but be sure to see your dentist regularly to ensure they stay intact.
Brush With Fluoride: While brushing your teeth is an obvious step to cavity prevention be sure your toothpaste has fluoride. Why fluoride? Our teeth are under attack on a daily basis, and the intensity of that attack depends on the types of foods we eat. With bacteria, plaque, and acid constantly damaging our teeth, fluoride is the weapon that counteracts them by remineralizing your teeth.
Eat Healthy: Eating healthy food benefits more than just your body it benefits your smile. Sugary foods or an excess of carbohydrates can actually do your smile a disservice. Sugar turns into acid in your mouth which leaves your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay. Choosing healthy foods and drinks, like water, crunchy fruits, and vegetables, can actually increase saliva flow and wash away that unwanted bacteria.
Drink Tap Water: It seems weird that a tip to fight cavities would include drinking tap water, considering everyone these days drinks purified water from bottles. Many cities and counties have joined the fight against cavities by adding fluoride to their water supply. Some city and county governments believe that many children and adults go without basic cavity prevention tools. In order to combat this problem, cities across the nation have decided to use water fluoridation in the public water system to combat cavities.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Here’s another obvious cavity prevention tip. Just like brushing your teeth 2 times a day is important, so is seeing your dentist every 6 months. You play an important role in your own oral health or the oral health of your children but so does your dentist! How often can you look inside your mouth and see a developing problem? Not too often. A dentist is trained to recognize any issues, address them, and treat them, thus preventing any further issues which could damage your smile.