Good oral and dental hygiene can help you avoid cavities and tooth decay. Below are some tips to help prevent cavities. Ask your dentist which tips are best for you.
Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and ideally after every meal, using fluoride-containing toothpaste. To clean between your teeth, floss or use an interdental cleaner. If you can't brush after eating, at least try to rinse your mouth with water. If you have a young child, ask the dentist how much fluoride toothpaste to put on your child's toothbrush so your child gets the cavity-fighting benefits without getting too much fluoride.
Rinse your mouth. If your dentist feels you have a high risk of developing cavities, he or she may recommend that you use a mouth rinse with fluoride.
If you’ve heard about fluoride at a dental office recently, it’s probably because this naturally-occurring mineral plays a big role in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride works by strengthening tooth enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Whether or not your child needs extra fluoride depends on a variety of factors (heredity being one of them), but overall there is a pretty well-established correlation between more fluoride and less tooth decay.
How to Get Additional Fluoride When Needed
There are two ways that your child can get additional fluoride: in topical form, or systemic. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the surface of the tooth, in a variety of ways, including mouthwash, toothpaste, or even fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office. Systemic, or swallowed, fluoride includes fluoridate...