No one looks forward to hearing those seven little words at their dental exams and cleanings in Virginia Beach, VA: “It looks like you have a cavity.” We don’t like having to deliver that news any more than you like hearing it, whether you are sitting in the chair, or accompanying a child or family member at an appointment. However, the good news is, diagnosing a cavity is the first step towards restoring the tooth to health. In the meantime, knowing more about cavity formation can help your checkups come with the best news possible.
Brushing Helps Prevent Cavities
Although saliva and water can help rinse away food particles and bacteria, the physical action of brushing is essential to cavity prevention. Within hours of any meal or snack, bacteria are forming a sticky film called plaque, that coats teeth and leads to tooth decay. By brushing this plaque away you clean the tooth surfaces and help tooth enamel remain a strong and effective barrier to decay. Flossing is also a vital component for cleaning between teeth and at the gum line.
You Have to Brush Twice A Day, Every Day
While skipping brushing once or twice doesn’t guarantee a cavity the next week, research has proven that twice daily brushing is an effective deterrent to cavity formation. It isn’t enough to do a great job one day, and skip the next, or remember most of the time, but skip it while on vacation. Bacteria is always present in your mouth, and they multiply when you consume a meal or snack. Ever worse, if plaque is not removed daily, it will harden into tartar (calculus) in about 24-48 hours, and tartar is impervious is brushing. It must be removed by the caring dental hygienists in our dental office.
Your Diet Matters
Not just what you eat, but how you eat can aid or detract from cavity prevention. Try to maintain a healthy and varied diet that is low in sugar. When you drink sugared drinks, use a straw when possible and drink them all at once and then rinse your mouth with water. For any meal or snack it is helpful to your smile to eat all at once and then rinse, rather than grazing and allowing food particles to remain and be replenished on the teeth all day.
Do You Think You Might Have A Cavity?
While cavities can’t always be avoided, regular dental visits help you and your dentist catch them early. Contact Absolute Dental Care today in Virginia Beach, VA to schedule a visit by calling (757) 428-7440. We proudly welcome patients Virginia Beach and all surrounding communities.