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How To Prevent Cavities

Regular checkups with your general dentist in Silver Spring, MD, Dr. Eric Chai, can help you reduce your risk of tooth decay. In addition to visiting the dentist every six months, these tips can help you prevent cavities.

Don't be a hasty brusher

If you only brush your teeth for a few seconds, you'll leave plaque behind. Plaque, a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria, constantly coats your teeth. The combination of bacteria found in plaque and sugars or carbohydrates in foods creates acids that attack tooth enamel, causing cavities.

When you brush too quickly, you're more likely to leave plaque behind and increase your cavity risk. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing for at least two minutes twice a day. Be sure to spend equal time on the fronts, backs, and chewing surfaces of teeth when you brush.

Make flossing part of your daily routine

Flossing is an often overlooked aspect of cavity prevention. If you don't floss every day, plaque builds up in between teeth and may soon cause tooth decay. String and tape floss aren't the only flossing choices. Flossing picks, brushes, and water flossers can make the job a little easier.

Use oral care products that contain fluoride

Acid attacks leave your teeth weak and more prone to decay. Brushing your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste and using mouthwash that contains fluoride can reverse the damage. Fluoride remineralizes teeth, rebuilding enamel. It's easy to spot fluoridated toothpaste when you're shopping in Silver Spring. Toothpaste that contains fluoride features the ADA seal.

Change your eating habits

You're more likely to develop cavities if you eat sugary foods or foods high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars when you chew foods. Foods that can increase your risk of cavities include candy, cookies, cake, doughnuts, crackers, pretzels, potato chips, and pasta, bread, and other foods made with white flour. Sugary juices and beverages also increase your tooth decay risk.

Switching to whole-grain foods, avoiding sugary beverages, and substituting fruits and vegetables for snacks high in sugar and carbs can improve both your general and oral health.

Is it time for your next checkup? Call your Silver Spring, MD, general dentist, Dr. Eric Chai, at (301) 384-6000 to schedule your appointment.

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