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World Oral Health Day 2024: Dental Tips To Help Reduce Risk Of Cavities

Cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, are areas of damage on the surface of the teeth caused by bacterial activity. They occur when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, sugars, and food debris, builds up on the teeth and produces acids that gradually dissolve the enamel—the outer layer of the tooth.

Over time, this erosion creates small holes or cavities in the enamel. If left untreated, cavities can progress deeper into the tooth, leading to pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Certain dental care activities can indeed reduce the risk of cavities by preventing the buildup of plaque and strengthening tooth enamel. Read on as we share these dental tips for cavity prevention.

Here are some dental tips that help in cavity prevention:
1. Brush twice daily
Brushing your teeth twice a day helps remove plaque buildup, which is a sticky film of bacteria that can lead to cavities. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes each time, reaching all surfaces of your teeth.

2. Floss daily
Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between teeth and along the gum line, where toothbrush bristles may not reach effectively. Floss gently to avoid damaging the gums.

3. Use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria. Use fluoride toothpaste approved by dental associations and government health organisations.

4. Limit sugary foods and drinks
Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars, producing acids that erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Limit consumption of sugary snacks, candies, and beverages, especially between meals.

5. Drink water
Drinking water helps rinse away food particles and neutralise acids in the mouth. Opt for fluoridated water when possible, as it can further strengthen tooth enamel.

6. Chew sugar-free gum
Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralise acids. Look for gum containing xylitol, a natural sweetener that may also inhibit bacterial growth.

7. Visit your dentist regularly
Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to detect early signs of cavities and other oral health issues. Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing alone may miss.

8. Consider dental sealants
Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of molars to prevent bacteria and food from getting trapped in the pits and fissures. Ask your dentist if sealants are appropriate for you or your children.

9. Avoid smoking and tobacco products
Smoking and using tobacco products increases the risk of cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Quitting smoking can improve overall oral health and reduce cavity risk.

10. Maintain a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provides essential nutrients for healthy teeth and gums. Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D are particularly important for strong tooth enamel.

Consistency is key to reducing the risk of cavities and maintaining good oral health in the long term.

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