How can caries be prevented?
We tell you how you can prevent caries and enjoy good dental health. Discover the best healthcare tips and tricks with us.
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Caries are one of the most common oral diseases. So much so that it is common for almost everyone to suffer from them at some point in life. And no one is free of them: they can occur in children as well as in adolescents and adults. Even babies can get caries.
But what are caries? Caries destroy dental tissue (enamel and dentin) causing a small opening or hole in the surface of the tooth. It is a disease that has its origin in bacterial activity in the mouth and its manifestation is influenced by an individual's dental anatomy and the pH of their saliva (a value below 7 is considered more prone to caries).
Caries can spread and affect deeper layers, as well as generate intense toothache and even tooth loss, so preventing caries is essential to avoid these unpleasant situations.
How are caries prevented?
Avoiding caries is easy if you know how. Take note:
- Oral hygiene needs to be taken seriously. It is necessary to brush your teeth after each meal and do it correctly - that is, brushing the interdental spaces and gum lines (where bacteria accumulate more easily and tartar forms). Brushing should be slow, gentle, from top to bottom and back to front around the bite, both inside and outside, with a minute given to each quarter of the dental arch. Nor should we overlook the tongue, which is fundamental when we are thinking about how to prevent tooth decay. In addition, it is advisable to use dental floss and make a final rinse with mouthwash.
- Pay attention to your diet. If we eat foods rich in sugars and starches (such as carbohydrates) we will be far more likely to suffer with caries. In addition to brushing your teeth after any meal (which is advisable), it is important to opt for a healthy and balanced diet.
- Lack of fluoride affects oral hygiene. Fluoride is necessary for the remineralisation of teeth; that is precisely why many toothpastes include it in their formula.
- Beware of having a dry mouth. The function of saliva is to contribute to the elimination of bacteria. Therefore, if there is a loss of salivary flow, caries may be more likely to appear. Tobacco and alcohol also promote oral dryness, as well as some medicines and diseases.
- Ensure you are well-informed about good dental health. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their children about dental health and how to maintain hygiene and nutrition.
- See your dentist regularly. And, if we are wondering about how to prevent cavities from advancing, many times there is no choice but to go to a professional. Oral hygiene, even if done correctly, is sometimes not enough to prevent the accumulation of tartar in the interdental spaces. Having a proper dental clean every six months or once a year, as recommended by your dentist, is very important.
- Hydrate properly. In this way, we keep the pH of the mouth under control and prevent it from decreasing or increasing. It is advisable to drink at least 2.5 litres of water a day.
What is a filling?
If you've ever wondered what a filling is and how it relates to caries, we've got you covered. A dental filling is one of the most frequently performed treatments in any dental clinic and is used to treat caries in its initial phase. It consists of removing the decay from the affected tooth, cleaning the cavity that housed it and filling it with composite resin. In this way, the dentist re-establishes the original functionality of the tooth and prevents caries from advancing and destroying a larger area of the tooth.