No one wants to suffer through the pain, inconvenience, and cost of treating a cavity. It’s not impossible to prevent many cavities by diligent home care and regular trips to the dentist for care. So, what are the experts, the American Dental Association (ADA), dentists, and oral health researchers saying are the keys to cavity prevention in 2017?
Biofilm is Key
Biofilm is the sticky coating of bacteria that covers the teeth. Some people have a healthy biofilm, made up of bacteria unlikely to cause cavities. Some people have biofilms made up of bacteria likely to cause cavities, often characterized by acidic conditions in the mouth. Disrupting the dangerous biofilm is the National Institute of Health’s recommendation for keeping cavities at bay. In regular English, that means brushing well and seeing a dentist for regular cleanings and following dentist recommendations to treat an unhealthy biofilm. Products like CariFree CTx4 Treatment Rinse can disrupt an unhealthy biofilm.
Cavities Are Contagious. Don’t Share Them!
The baby drops the pacifier. The well meaning parent picks it up and pops it in their own mouth to clean it. Or, a couple shares a dessert off the same spoon. It shows how close they are that they don’t mind using just one spoon right? Well, they might be sharing much more than a binky or some chocolate cake. Cavities are caused by bacteria, and bacteria can easily travel from mouth to mouth on those tools. Keep your mouth healthy, and try to minimize germ sharing behavior. Your teeth, and your children’s teeth, will thank you.
Fluoride Varnish, applied by a dental professional, can make a big difference.
Fluoride varnish is painted on the teeth to provide extra strengthening to enamel and prevent cavity formation. The American Dental Association recommends the use of such products, particularly in children. Fluoride varnish formulas have improved in recent years too, making them more pleasant for the patient. For home use, there are some excellent fluoride treatment products to use between dental visits.
Seal It Off!
Did you know that a thin, flexible layer of plastic could reduce your child’s risk of cavities in the molars by as much as 80%? That’s exactly what a dental sealant is and does. In fact, the CDC reports that children without sealants have nearly 3 times more cavities than children with sealants on their molars. Talk to your dentist about sealants on permanent molars at your child’s next visit and save your child the pain of cavities in those teeth. Even if you didn’t get them as a child, talk to your dentist about sealants and if they are right for you.