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Your Oral Health

Preventing Cavities

Visit your dentist regularly

If you have had a cavity recently, you should revisit your dentist in six months for another oral exam and cleaning.

Ask about fluoride

Fluoride makes tooth enamel strong and resistant to recay. It can even help to reverse the early stages of decay. Your dentist can provide in-office treatments such as fluoride varnish. If you need more fluoride, your dentist also can prescribe fluoride supplements.

Ask about sealants

Children who have had a cavity may benefit from having sealants placed on their teeth. A dental sealant is a plastic material that your dentist places onto the chewing surfaces of molars to help prevent cavities.
 


Have you had a cavity recently?

If so, you are more likely to get another. Read on to learn how you can reduce your risk!  
     

What cause cavities?  

Cavities are formed by bacteria on your teeth, called plaque. When you eat sugary or starchy foods, the plaque mixes with them and forms acid. The acid attacks your tooth enamel, which is the hard outside surface of your teeth. Eventually this forms a cavity.  
     

How can I avoid more cavities?  

There are lots of ways to reduce your risk of more cavities.  
     

Brush the right way 

We all know to brush our teeth, but we don't always do it correctly. And that may leave plaque on our teeth. Here are some simple tips that make a big difference:  

  • Brush for a minimum of two minutes, twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Brush your teeth after eating sugary or starchy food.

  • Brush each tooth in a small, circular motion.

  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

  • Replace your toothbrush every two months or when the bristles are frayed and worn.

Floss daily  

Flossing removes food trapped between teeth. It reduces plaque and helps your gums stay healthy too. Flossing is an important tool in cavity prevention. You should floss once a day.  
     

Eat a healthy diet  

A healthy diet helps prevent cavities. Here are some suggestions:  

  • Drink lots of water, preferably fluoridated. (Bottled water usually does not contain fluoride.)

  • Eat foods that have fluoride in them such as fish, tea, grape juice, and green leafy vegetables.

  • Eat fruits and other products that have a natural sweetener called Xylitol. Xylitol helps fight cavities.

  • Chew Xylitol gum. As a Delta Dental member, you can receive a discount on Xylitol gum at www.epicdental.com/deltamass.