Question

Cavities

What is the best way to prevent cavities?

A Answers (5)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentistry, answered on behalf of Colgate

    Brushing your teeth the proper way and maintaining overall healthy oral hygiene is the best way to prevent cavities. It is important to brush your teeth after every meal and floss on a regular basis. These two processes are the best ways to clean your teeth and prevent plaque buildup, which leads to cavities. Mouth rinse that contains fluoride is another great way to prevent a cavity from developing, especially if your teeth are more susceptible to them.

  • Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on sugary and starchy foods, producing acids as a result. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. You can help prevent tooth decay by following these tips:

    • Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.    
    • Clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaner.    
    • Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking.    
    • Check with your dentist about use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth, and about use of dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (where decay often starts) to protect them from decay.    
    • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examination.
  • AGerry Curatola, DDS, Dentistry, answered

    Contrary to popular myth, brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist every 6 months is not the magic answer. While decay results from acids from bacteria starting a process of demineralization and decalcification of teeth, we have been focused on the symptom and not the cause. Everything we know about disease has changed in the last decade and we now recognize that disease in the mouth (e.g., caries and periodontal disease included) results from imbalances in the oral biofilm. These disturbances in this essential and protective microbial community result in the emergence of pathogens (bad bacteria) that promote cavities and gum disease. So how do we promote a healthy protective oral biofilm that prevents cavities? GOOD NUTRITION and GOOD ORAL CARE MAINTENANCE. Go for a diet that is alkaline, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich. Brush with a kinder, gentler toothpaste not the "plaque killing" old detergent-based stuff. I developed a vitamin and mineral based formula in a toothpaste called Revitin that promotes a balanced healthy "cavity resistant" oral biofilm for just this reason.

  • AThomas Connelly, Dentistry, answered

    The boring standard answer almost never changes: brush at least twice daily, floss at least once daily, and get regular dental checkups. Oh, avoid excess sweets and sodas as well. I realize you have been told this since... well... forever, but it's still the best way I know to prevent cavities.

    More advanced techniques are irrigation (water pik and the like), and brush a little more (bring a toothbrush to the office).

    The tried and true doesn't change here, because the tried and true works.

  • ARobin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Dr. Robin Miller - What prevents cavities?
    Cavities, or tooth decay, can spread from tooth to tooth. In this video, Dr. Robin Miller explains how material used to fill a cavity can prevent future cavities from forming.

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What should I do to prevent tooth decay?