Dental cavities, or caries are caused by acid. As plaque bacteria digest simple sugars that you consume, they produce acid. If you are struggling with dental caries, you must take deliberate steps to remove this harmful plaque bacteria from your teeth and neutralize these acids.
Removal of dental plaque depends upon good oral hygiene and home care which includes the following:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing once a day
- Avoiding foods high in sugar and acid (soft drinks, candy, etc)
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Using an electric toothbrush like the Sonicare brush
- Scheduling regular visits with your dental hygienist
In addition to removing the plaque bacteria, it is important that you take additional steps to make your teeth more resistant to acid breakdown. We offer several beneficial and effective products in our office including the following:
- Prescription strength fluoride toothpaste like Clinpro 5000 1.1% Sodium Fluoride toothpaste
- Fluoride rinses like Listerine Total Care, Act, or Fluoriguard
- Xylitol products. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that plaque bacteria cannot digest.
- Saliva substitutes like Biotene to treat dry mouth if necessary
We may also recommend dental sealants and fluoride varnishes which are applied in the office and aid in decay prevention.
Lastly, routine dental exams and x-rays are necessary to detect and restore small lesions before they become bigger problems.
When it comes to the prevention and management of dental caries… an ounce of prevention is most definitely worth a pound of cure!