How to Stop a Cavity: Part I
In our previous blog article “What is a Cavity?” we discussed what causes a cavity, in this article we will discuss how YOU can stop cavities from forming. Because this is a rather large topic, we will be making this a three part series! As discussed in the previous article, the collection of bacteria on your teeth causes the breakdown and loss of minerals on your teeth. Keeping that in mind, the best ways to stop cavities from forming are to remove the bacteria, remove the bacterial food source and to add minerals back onto the tooth. In part one of this series we will focus on ways you can remove the bacteria from your teeth.
The first step in fighting cavities is to remove the bacteria that causes cavities. The most effective way to remove the bacteria from your teeth it to mechanically remove it. Mechanical removal is most commonly done by brushing and flossing. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time you brush and you should floss at least once a day. Just like taking a scrub brush to the kitchen sink or bathtub, a tooth brush “scrubs” away the bacteria that collects on the surface of your teeth. Since the toothbrush can only clean the easy to reach places, it is also important to floss. The floss mechanically cleans BETWEEN your teeth, the more difficult area to reach. If done properly, brushing and flossing can remove enough bacteria to limit the production of bacterial acids that remove minerals from your teeth. The use of sugar-free gum will also mechanically remove the bacteria from your teeth. The act of chewing the gum, pushes the bacteria away from the biting surface of your teeth. While not as effective as brushing and flossing, chewing gum when nothing else is available is a great way to remove the bacteria from the most superficial surfaces of your teeth.
In the next topic we will look into ways to stop the bacteria from collecting on your teeth.