Dental caries or cavities are a condition where acid degrades the tooth enamel and over time will expose the inner portion of the tooth called dentin. Dentin, being softer than enamel, is much less resistant to decay. It is for this reason that any decay that enters the dentin will require a filling to halt the decay process.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to help prevent dental decay
• Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
• Using floss or other interdental cleaner between meals
• Avoid frequent snacking and prolonged exposure to sugary drinks (soda, fruit juices, milk etc…)
• Consider unsweetened coffee, tea or water to help reduce potentially cavity-causing food particles from teeth.
• Use of a sugar-free gum following meals has been shown to reduce incidence of cavities
• Dental sealants may be appropriate for some higher risk individuals
• Periotic fluoride treatments as well as regular exposure to fluoridated tap water can help to prevent cavities
• Regular dental visits will also help to monitor and treat any cavities early to preserve as much tooth structure as possible
*All information courtesy of the Mayo Clinic