Most people get to their dental appointments hoping for a proverbial gold star and more importantly good news, that their smiles are healthy. Unfortunately, many patients discover that’s not the case. They learn that they have developed cavities since their last checkup. Studies indicate that almost 90 percent of adults will experience cavities, and that nearly 50 percent of school-aged children have also suffered from cavities. But does that mean dental decay is inevitable? No. For most people, cavities are avoidable. It just takes a great combination of smart dental choices at-home and regular checkups and cleanings.
What Should a Dental Hygiene Routine Include?
Wondering what you should be doing between dental visits, to better care for your smile? While twice daily brushing is a good start to a preventive care routine, it is not sufficient to singlehandedly prevent cavities and other dental issues.
- Flossing is also essential. The act of flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria that are prone to lodge between the teeth, where it’s hard to reach with a toothbrush. By removing these particles, flossing can greatly reduce your chance of developing dental decay, but also gum disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America.
- During the day, it’s best to drink water frequently, to keep the mouth hydrated. This helps you produce saliva, which can limit plaque’s ability to form on the surface of the teeth. This, in turn, helps prevent the bacteria from creating an acidic environment, which can lead to damage of the teeth’s enamel, and eventually a cavity. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help produce plaque-fighting saliva, which makes it a great after-meal treat. Not only will your breath be freshened, but you will actually be protecting your oral health as well.