How Can I Prevent Cavities?

By Jane Roots, RDH | Dental Hygienist

“Brush and floss your teeth to avoid cavities.” Sound familiar? 

While we all know we’re supposed to brush and floss to keep our teeth healthy, cavities remain a common problem that we all have to contend with at one point or another, but there are some very important things we can do to prevent cavities from happening.

  • Brush with a Fluoride toothpaste after meals. Brushing regularly and properly with a soft brush gets rid of bacteria/plaque, especially after meals and before bedtime.
  • Flossing gets rid of food lodged between the teeth.
  • Visiting your dentist/hygienist regularly for a comprehensive exam and cleaning.
  • Rinse with mouthwash.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid frequent snacking and drinks – cut back on acidic foods and beverages high in sugar.
  • Consider dental Sealants.
  • Consider a Fluoride treatment.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Quit smoking – this leads to gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancer.

According to Amy Nowinski of the UIC College of Dentistry, a comprehensive exam and discussion with your dentist/hygienist is the first step in taking control of your oral health. Your dentist/hygienist can inform you of your cavity risk levels, suggested treatment options, and any necessary changes you may need to make. Once you know your risk level, then you can take a more specific, effective approach to improving your oral health.