How can you prevent cavities and stay out of the dentist’s chair?
Find out with these healthy teeth facts.
No one likes to visit the dentist’s office for a cavity. Since childhood we learn to believe that the dentist’s office is a scary place, and the thing we ought to be the most afraid of is cavity fillings. Horror stories of the dentist’s drill abound in popular culture–appearing in movies, TV shows, cartoons, and even stories that parents tell their children.
While these stories are exaggerated, and modern dentists are hardly anything to be afraid of, you still don’t want to get a cavity. Cavities are painful, and repairing them can be time-consuming and expensive. Having said that, if you never get a cavity, you wouldn’t need to worry when you put yourself in the good hands of Penn Dental Family Practice.
Here, we give you suggestions for how to avoid them in the first place with these healthy teeth facts.
Avoid Cavities with 4 Healthy Teeth Facts
- Cavities are the result of acid attacks on teeth. As you consume food and drink, especially food and drink high in sugars and starches, the acids leach minerals from the teeth. If a tooth loses too many natural minerals, the enamel becomes damaged, and a cavity can develop.
- Fluoride can help repair enamel on teeth. The chemical fluoride is present in many toothpastes, drinking water, and in a concentrated form at many dentist’s offices. Fluoride aids in the reparation process of your enamel. The element itself helps replenish minerals in enamel, but it also reduces the ability of bacteria in your mouth to produce acid.
Bonus healthy tooth fact: over 75% of community water supplies in the US are already fluoridated.
- Diet is extremely important in preventing cavities. Because the bacteria that live in your mouth help you to digest different foods differently, what you put in your mouth can change the composition of your saliva and what those bacteria produce. In particular, sugary foods cause your mouth bacteria to produce more acid than usual. Repeated consumption of sugary food can cause multiple cycles of acid in your mouth, repeatedly wearing down the enamel. It should come as no surprise that avoiding sugary foods can help keep you healthy by giving your teeth time to rest and recover their enamel.
- Sealants can help prevent cavities. Many dentists use a thin plastic coating across the teeth to prevent acid from reaching the teeth and creating a protective covering. Because the back teeth are pitted and grooved, food can become trapped in there for a long time, creating acid from interactions with bacteria for as long as it is trapped. If the back teeth are sealed, food trapped in the back teeth is relatively harmless. Many dentists recommend getting those teeth sealed as soon as they come in for young patients.
Knowing the facts to keep your teeth healthy can give you the edge in preventing cavities in you or your children. If you are worried about cavities and think that you might need some dental supervision beyond these tips, give Penn Dental Family Practice a call at 215-898-PDFP