How do I get cavities?
Cavities occur when the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack your tooth enamel. Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. After you eat, the bacteria in plaque produce acids. Over time these acids can break down your tooth enamel and a cavity may form. That's why proper brushing with Colgate toothpaste and toothbrush, and flossing every day is so important to help prevent cavities from forming.
Does fluoride help prevent cavities?
Yes! Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps safely strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Fluoride can be found in most toothpaste and in anti-cavity mouth rinses.
In communities where fluoride has been added to the drinking water, the children have 65% fewer cavities! If your water supply does not contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe a daily fluoride supplement for your children. And if you or your children are especially cavity-prone, you may want to consider dental sealants, a plastic coating applied by your dentist to protect teeth from decay. Ask your dentist or physician about what's best.
Are there certain foods I should avoid to help prevent cavities?
Starchy or sugary foods, especially those that stick to your teeth, are the worst foods for producing plaque acids that cause tooth decay. It's better to eat a well-balanced diet that avoids these foods. But when you do eat sugary foods, eat them with your meal instead of as a snack.
What can I do to help prevent cavities?
Brush at least twice a day with toothpaste and floss daily to remove food and plaque from between teeth and below the gumline. Consider using Fluorigard Anti-Cavity Mouthrinse-this can be especially helpful to individuals with exposed roots due to receding gums. And visit your dentist and hygienist regularly for checkups. Preventive care can help keep minor problems from becoming major ones.