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We’re all doing our best to avoid cavities. But did you know that there are actually ways to reverse the decay process before it does big damage? With a little extra patient education, you could actually learn how to stop a potential cavity in its tracks, without waiting for your next dental exam. The decay process has a few different stages, and while more advanced decay will require professional intervention, early enamel erosion can be halted with fluoride and improved hygiene. Learn more below.
Spotting the Beginning of a Cavity
There are a few common causes of tooth decay:
- Repetitive sugar intake, especially between meals (when there’s not enough saliva produced to rinse away acids)
- Poor oral hygiene resulting in plaque buildup
- Lowered defenses (dry mouth, or tobacco use)
- Aging fillings with leaky margins
When plaque builds up in one of these environments, it exposes the affected tooth/teeth to harmful acids. These acids erode minerals from the enamel, resulting in a white spot lesion or brown spot lesion. The tooth will feel and look mostly normal, but you may not discoloration, whether it’s light or dark.
If one of the above situations apply to you, it’s a good idea to introduce some new practices to your home dental care. You can reverse decay before the cavity is fully formed, and stop it from requiring dental work. Prevention is always the best bet! You’ll save money, energy, time, and tooth structure.
Reversing the Decay Process
- Use fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash will remineralize teeth and prevent the lesion from growing. Just use a fluoride product as instructed by Dr. Baudean, and you’ll see your smile staying stronger and your teeth even feeling less sensitive.
- Kick up your oral hygiene – Brushing and flossing need to remove plaque from your tooth surfaces in order for you to avoid dental caries. Make sure you’re accessing every area of your mouth for home hygiene success – angle your toothbrush, and cup your floss around each tooth.
- Rethink your diet – If you’re snacking on sugary or starchy treats each day, it could be time to write a new shopping list. Try to prioritize fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, cheese, plain yogurt, and other tooth-healthy snacks.