You Can Prevent Cavities
Cavities: Many of us
remember sweating through the poking and prodding of the
dentist. We prayed that he or she would not find cavities which
would require the use of the dreaded dental drill. Armed with
the right knowledge and proper home dental care you can now
rest at ease and fear cavities no more.
What Causes Cavities ?
When it comes to cavities, bacteria are public
enemy number #1. Our mouths, teeth and toothbrushes are
full of bacteria which settle on our teeth in plaque, a
goo of proteins, saliva, and food debris.
Violight can remove the bacteria from our toothbrushes
but our teeth are a problem. Here bacteria devour food
particles left on our teeth. Ungrateful guests, these
bacteria produce acid as a by-product of their feasting.
It is this acid which eats into the tooth enamel creating
The teeth have a moderate
ability to repair tooth enamel by remineralizing the affected
enamel with minerals from saliva. Unfortunately, the rate of
destruction by acid exceeds this rate of repair.
Normally, acids eating into
tooth enamel is not painful. Left untreated, however, acid eats
a hole through the enamel into the underlying dentin and pulp
layers of the tooth. This does cause pain and left untreated
the cavity will eventually destroy dentin, pulp and tooth
What Can You Do To Reduce Your Chances of
Good oral hygiene significantly reduce your risk
of getting cavities. Brushing and the use of a water pick
can help reduce your chance of cavities. The Hydrabrush
helps you do both at the same time! Brushing removes
bacteria as well as the food debris bacteria feed on.
When brushing it is crucial to brush all tooth surfaces
which takes at least 2-3 minutes. Unfortunately, most
people only brush for less than 45 missing a large
percentage of their tooth surfaces.
Flossing everyday is crucial to preventing
cavities. Flossing reaches the nearly 35 percent of your
mouth that your toothbrush can not reach. In these areas,
bacteria live happily pouring out cavity causing acid.
Remember brushing without flossing is like taking a
shower and only washing two thirds of your body. The
remaining third still remains dirty !
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene,
there are other things you can do to reduce your risk of
To Prevent Cavities, Watch What You Eat
Bacteria are particularly fond of foods
containing sugars and carbohydrates. These foods provide
bacteria with energy to grow, reproduce, and create
enamel eating acid. A special favorite of bacteria are
foods which tend to stick to teeth like peanut butter,
caramel, and honey. When stuck to teeth these foods are
not cleared by chewing and swallowing. Consequently they
provide bacteria with a long lasting food source from
which to make acid.
When you eat meals or snacks containing large
amounts sugars, carbohydrates, or "sticky" foods which
tend to get stuck to teeth, make sure to follow the meal
with water to help wash off food particles remaining on
teeth. If possible, brush your teeth immediately after
To Prevent Cavities, Watch the Timing of
The timing of your snacks is crucial to
preventing cavities. The acid produced by bacteria is
neutralized by saliva and cleared from the mouth. After
the acid is cleared minerals in saliva crystallize on the
enamel to begin to repair areas damaged by the
Larger intervals between meals provide more
opportunity for acid to be neutralized and more time for
the acid damage to be repaired. Frequent snacks, however,
provide for a constant acid attack and provide less time
for tooth repair.
This explains why snacks eaten with a meal are
better for teeth than snacks eaten between meals. A candy
bar eaten with a meal, for example, is less likely to
contribute to cavity formation than a candy bar eaten as
a snack between meals.
This also explains why fewer larger sized meals
are better for teeth than more frequent smaller sized
meals. Likewise, sipping on sugar containing liquids
through out the day is much more detrimental than
drinking sugar containing liquids with a
Use Fluoride to Prevent Cavities
Fluoride is a wonder of modern dentistry.
Fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel
strengthening the enamel and making it more resistant to
acid attacks. Most adults receive adequate amounts of
fluoride in their toothpastes. Children often receive
adequate amounts in their drinking water. If your water
is not fluoridated you may want to consult your
pediatrician to see about providing fluoride supplements
for your child.
Visit Your Dentist On a Regular Basis
Dental problems often remain silent creating
pain only after significant damage has occurred. Dentists
can identify many of these potentially devastating
problems before they cause major
Additionally, dentists can detect places in your
mouth that you miss when brushing. These areas are prime
targets for cavity formation. In areas where cavities are
just beginning to form, dentists can use high
concentration fluoride treatments to prevent the need for
the dental drills and fillings.
With proper oral hygiene and attention to what we eat and
when we eat, cavities can be virtually