Posted .

Your healthy smile depends on the health of your teeth and gums. You play a big role in keeping your smile healthy, and there are steps you can take to avoid your biggest smile breaker—cavities. Cavities are the holes in tooth enamel that come from the effects of plaque formation in your mouth.

Plaque is what happens when the oral bacteria reacts to the sugars in your mouth from sugary, starchy foods and drinks. Things like chips, bread, milk, cookies, juice, soda, all create unhealthy conditions in the mouth. Plaque creates acids that eat away at tooth enamel. You can develop cavities on the top surface of teeth such as the molars, or between teeth and on the root surfaces of the teeth if you have gum disease or receding gums. So what can you do to keep cavities from dampening your smile?

Brushing– brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each session to thoroughly clean teeth and gums. Make sure your toothbrush bristles are straight, not frayed, because frayed bristles can’t do their job of cleaning teeth effectively. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three months or as soon as you notice the bristles losing their shape.

Eating– limit plaque formation by eating a healthy diet, especially if you snack. Limit sugary and starchy foods and choose instead things like cheese, almonds, celery, apples or carrots which are good for your pearly whites.

Fluoridating – fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, keeping it strong and resilient while it fights destructive elements in the mouth. To reap fluoride’s benefits, drink tap water instead of bottled water, and use fluoride-based toothpaste or mouthwash.

Professional cleanings – maintain six-month dental cleanings and checkups. Not only do we evaluate your oral health to spot dental problems early, but we also remove hardened plaque (tartar) from your teeth and around the gum line. And if you are cavity prone, you may also benefit from dental sealants or fluoride treatments.

Keep your smile bright by practicing good oral hygiene habits and enlisting our team to help you keep your smile healthy. To schedule your next dental visit with our skilled dentists, Dr. Mark Teigen and Dr. Steven Kirkpatrick, please contact our Cascade Dental Care team in Longview, Washington at 360-425-8140 today.