Most people know that cavities are bad but don’t know how to prevent them, and it’s not a good idea for people to only rely on their dentists once or twice a year to thoroughly clean their teeth. Keep reading to learn the top ways to prevent cavities so you can keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free all year long.

1. Watch How Much Sugar You’re Eating

Sugar contains bacteria-feeding carbohydrates that can cause plaque to form on your teeth. This then leads to cavities, as the bacteria begins to create acid that will slowly dissolve the enamel on your teeth, eventually causing a cavity.

2. Clean Your Teeth Thoroughly and Regularly

Not only should you brush your teeth at least twice a day, but you should also floss every night and clean your tongue as well. By doing this, you will be removing the plaque that contains bacteria responsible for causing cavities before it has time to sit on your teeth and begin decaying them. It is also important to use an antibacterial mouthwash to kill any bacteria that has managed to remain on your teeth, or is still hanging out in your gums, after you’ve brushed.

3. Go For Regular Dental Exams and Professional Teeth Cleanings

If you can, schedule a dental exam at least once per year. If it is not feasible for you financially, or if you have a high risk of developing cavities due to your diet and/or lifestyle, it is recommended that you go for dental checkups every six months. During these checkups, dentists will examine your teeth for any signs of decay and provide you with information on how to improve your long-term dental health.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eat plenty of foods containing calcium, phosphorous, and Vitamin D. These will help remineralize the teeth and strengthen the enamel so that it is less likely to develop cavities. Foods rich in calcium and phosphorous include dairy products. Foods high in Vitamin D include fish, eggs, fortified milk substitutes, and cod liver oil.

5. Consider Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are a plastic protective barrier that is applied to your teeth. This clear, resin-like covering will protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (the premolars and molars) from food and plaque acids. According to the CDC, dental sealants protect against 80% of cavities for two years and 50% of cavities for up to four years after application.

Most dentists recommend making a few changes in your daily life and dental hygiene routine. If you can, make an appointment for a dental exam at least once per year. This way, dentists will provide you with information on how to properly care for your teeth and gums to prevent cavities in the future. Contact Sninski and Schmitt Family Dentistry for any concerns. We have two convenient locations; you can reach us at our Holly Springs dentist office at (919) 600-6262 and our Cary, NC dentist office at (919) 467-2203. Or, fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment