Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Tooth decay can be unsightly and sometimes painful. Cavities could lead to significant oral health complications such as gum disease and abscesses. Between time off work and the expense of repairs, cavities can drain both your time and your wallet. Therefore, your friendly dentist in Birmingham, Dr. Nancy Hartrick is sharing ten ways to prevent cavities so you can protect your oral health and bank account.
- Brush and Floss Your Teeth Regularly
The obvious way to prevent cavities is with regular brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day to remove food debris and harmful bacteria. Choose a soft-bristled brush with a smaller round head so you can get into hard to reach areas.
- Use Cavity Fighting Toothpaste
Toothpaste that has the seal of approval from the ADA and is fluoride-based can help fight decay and strengthen your teeth. Children are old enough to use fluoridated toothpaste if they understand they need to spit the toothpaste out and not ingest it.
- Use Mouthwash
There are times when brushing and flossing are not convenient or appropriate. Keep mouthwash handy to rinse away food debris and bacteria. Mouthwash is also essential to use as a part of your oral health care routine. It helps remove microscopic bacteria your toothbrush and floss miss.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist twice a year may seem obvious, but people avoid the dentist out of fear or the expense. However, when you speak with our general dentist in Detroit, share your concerns so that Dr. Hartrick can address them appropriately. By maintaining your oral health through checkups and cleanings, tooth decay is monitored and addressed immediately upon discovery.
- Ask Your Dentist About Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are a plastic coating placed on the chewing surface of your back teeth to cover the fissures which are more prone to decay. Sealants last about ten years with the proper care. They are an excellent investment for your long-term oral health, which is why they most often are recommended for children.
- Healthy Teeth Require Hydration
Water is the best thing you can drink for your overall health. Many cities have fluoridated water, so tap water can help strengthen your teeth and provide critical vitamins and minerals. The Detroit dentist near you at Hartrick Dentistry encourages patients to drink water as it is sugar-free, washes away bacteria, and you can drink as much as you desire.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which can aid in washing away bacteria or food particles. However, the ADA recommends chewing a sugar-free version to minimize sugar exposure to your teeth. In addition to rinsing away harmful bacteria, chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can freshen your breath as well. Keep in mind, however, that chewing gum should never replace brushing and flossing.
- Eat Dental Friendly Foods
Just as some foods are more beneficial to your body, the same is true for your oral health. By consuming foods low in sugar, you lower your risk of cavities. Consume a diet filled with healthy foods such as vegetables, fresh fruit, cheese, yogurt, and unsweetened coffee and tea.
- Avoid Cavity-Causing Sugar
Bacteria feed on sugar and secrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Your Royal Oak family dentist, Dr. Hartrick, advises avoiding candy, sweeteners, alcohol, processed foods, cakes, fizzy drinks, and canned fruit. If you decide to consume these foods, brush and floss your teeth immediately.
- Stop Smoking
You may already know about the importance of not smoking. Smoking directly impacts teeth and gums by causing staining, decay, infection, gum disease, tooth loss, and possibly oral cancer. Your professional dentist in Birmingham, Hartrick Dentistry, highly recommends researching a smoking cessation plan that works for you.
Family Dentist in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan
Cavities are not a welcomed sight when it comes to your oral health. However, with some preventative measures, you could protect your teeth and gums. If you need to schedule a checkup and cleaning, please contact your leading Royal Oak dentist, Hartrick Dentistry, by calling (248) 549-0950 or contacting us online today.