According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness in the U.S. Although the risk for cavities is high for children, adults can develop tooth decay too. If you have receding gums or old fillings you should have them checked because new cavities can form in those areas.
But can cavities be prevented?
“The foods you eat and the way you clean your teeth are the two most important factors influencing whether or not you have cavities,” says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, professor and chair of the Department of Cardiology and Comprehensive Care at New York University College of Dentistry. So the most important preventive steps you can take are to limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages, and brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride, in toothpastes and in water, is the single most tested method for preventing cavities, says Jonathan B. Levine, DMD, an associate professor at the NYU School of Dentistry. For people who are prone to cavities, dentists can administer a fluoride treatment in the office, or apply thin plastic sealants to the chewing surfaces of molars.
According to sharecare.com there are new things on the horizon for dental care concerning tooth decay and cavities.
Researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry are working on a new anti-cavity mouthwash that better targets cavity-causing bacteria and lasts a lot longer than conventional mouthwashes. In a small clinical trial, participants who rinsed their mouths just once with the new mouthwash were able to almost completely eliminate the specific cavity-causing bacteria from their mouths, and the results lasted for four days. Conventional mouthwashes only eliminate bacteria for about 12 hours.
Coconut oil has natural germ-killing properties. Try the ancient cleansing routine of “oil-pulling,” and swish coconut oil in your mouth for 15 minutes to kill bacteria. Or, make a paste out of coconut oil and baking powder. Stop a cavity in its tracks by drinking more water: It not only helps clean away germs, but it’s important for the production of bacteria-attacking saliva.
Left untreated, cavities can lead to more serious problems, including dental infections and even tooth loss. Call us at Brogdon Dental to schedule your check up.