Cavities are one of the most common conditions Americans have. Unfortunately, many people avoid getting treatment for their cavities, perhaps due to financial constraints or other reasons. The CDC estimates that about 25 percent of American adults have at least one untreated cavity. They try to treat the condition using home remedies or by brushing it to prevent its progression.
But can you brush away a cavity? Keep reading to learn the answer to the question as well as the proper way to treat cavities.
What Is A Cavity?
Cavities are an early stage of progressive tooth decay. Whenever we eat sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria in our mouths also feed on the same food. But to digest the sugars, the bacteria release acids that are harmful to our teeth. These acids combine with the bacteria and food particles to form a biofilm coating on the teeth called plaque.
Brushing and flossing daily can get rid of the plaque. But if you don’t follow proper oral hygiene, the acids in the plaque erode the enamel layer of the teeth and cause openings or gaps called cavities. What does a cavity look like? It appears as a hole on the top or side of a tooth. If left untreated, tooth decay will go beneath a tooth’s enamel layer and affect the dentin and pulp layers. This will lead to infections, abscesses, pain, and eventually tooth loss.
So, Can You Brush Away A Cavity?
If you have developed a cavity but can’t visit a dentist, you may be wondering if it’s possible to treat it yourself at home. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Once a cavity develops on the teeth, it can only be treated by a dentist. Delaying cavity treatment will only allow your tooth to decay further.
There are some things you can do to manage the condition but only for a short period. If you are experiencing a toothache, taking a pain killer may ease your discomfort. You can also brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste to maintain your oral hygiene and prevent further tooth decay. Gargling with an antibacterial mouth wash may also help keep plaque at bay and prevent cavities from progressing. But all these are just temporary fixes. It is important to visit a dentist as soon as you notice a cavity.
How To Get Rid of A Cavity
The only way to get rid of a cavity is to visit a dentist for treatment. The dentist can get rid of small cavities that have just occurred by using a professional fluoride treatment. The fluoride is of a much higher dose than what you find in tap water or toothpaste so can remineralize your teeth. In case your cavity is well developed, the dentist will use dental fillings, crowns, or tooth canals to treat it. Severe cases of cavities may call for a tooth extraction to prevent infections, abscesses, and pain.
How To Prevent Cavities
So, does brushing teeth prevent cavities? Yes, brushing our teeth at least twice a day goes a long way towards preventing cavities. But brushing alone cannot prevent cavities. Dentists recommend that you use fluoride toothpaste when brushing as this helps to strengthen your enamel against plaque acids. Using a toothpaste or tooth gel with nano hydroxyapatite will further aid in repairing those enamel building blocks. You must also floss daily to remove food particles stuck in areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Another important step you must take to prevent cavities is to watch your diet.
Sugary food and drinks, as well as a habit of snacking between meals, increase the likelihood of tooth decay and cavities. Some people are also at higher risk for developing caries. For instance, if you suffer from dry mouth your teeth have less saliva protection from plaque acids so you must take extra care to prevent cavities by drinking more water or chewing sugar-free xylitol gum.
Final Word on If You Can Brush Away a Cavity
Cavities are a common condition that many people think they can brush away. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste goes a long way to preventing cavities. But once you have a cavity, the only way to get rid of it is to visit the dentist. The longer you nurse a cavity a home, the bigger it will grow and may eventually cause you to lose your tooth.
So, if you have a cavity, search for a good dentist near you and book an appointment for a checkup and treatment advice. For more information on how you can prevent yourself and your family from getting cavities, grab a free copy of Why Me.