Ask a Dentist

February 12, 2021

Q: How can I prevent cavities?

Man brushing teeth

We heard the word “cavities” a lot growing up. We were told not to eat a lot of sweets or we'll end up getting cavities. But did you know that kids aren’t the only ones susceptible to cavities? 

Cavities are more common in children, teenagers and older adults, but if you have teeth you can get cavities. Many people have cavities, and it’s the most common health problem in the world. 

This global dental concern is also known as tooth decay and caries. Cavities are permanent damage to the teeth where tiny holes penetrate through layers of the tooth. 

What Causes Cavities?

When you have leftover food in your mouth, bacteria forms on your teeth and that causes damage to the protective layer of your tooth called the tooth enamel. Sugary and acidic food and drinks are huge contributors to bacteria build up. Without proper oral hygiene, bacteria will continue to form in your mouth and cause tooth decay. 

Remember the tiny holes we mentioned earlier? When ignored and left untreated they become larger and penetrate deeper into the layers of the tooth. This eventually leads to severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. 

How To Prevent Cavities

Make sure to book regular dentist appointments. During checkup and cleaning appointments at Dental Image Therapy Centres, our patients get tips and information about products to use at home that best suit their teeth; any dental treatment plans are made for that patient and are cavity-free through dental education and treatments that are customized depending on their current needs. Our dental clinics are located at St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre. 

Now, let’s run through what you can do to prevent cavities:

  • Visit a dentist regularly for checkups and a dental hygienist for cleanings. They may offer fluoride treatments or dental sealant options. Antibacterial treatments are available if you’re more susceptible to tooth decay, and they can check for worn fillings and get them replaced. 
  • Good oral hygiene is always a must. Floss daily and brush your teeth twice a day.  
  • We recommend mouth rinses with fluoride. This routine will give you extra fluoride benefits
  • Avoid frequent snacking and sipping. Doing so creates acids that ruin your tooth enamel and adds constant pressure to your teeth from chewing. When you find yourself reaching for snacks between meals, avoid eating anything sweet or starchy.  
  • Choose healthy foods that are good for your teeth. Fresh fruit and vegetables are great options, and these foods help increase your saliva flow. Avoid eating food that gets stuck to your teeth, and stay away from acidic food and drinks. 
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating sweets. This helps clean your teeth, increases saliva production and aids in removing sugar.  
  • Drink tap water. The City of Winnipeg adds fluoride to our tap water to help prevent tooth decay. It’s especially helpful to drink water after eating and drinking to rinse out your mouth between brushes.

If you think you have a cavity, book an appointment at either of our dental clinics to make sure. It’s better to get your teeth checked and a treatment plan made before it becomes a bigger issue.

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Maybe it's time for your and your family's regular checkup and cleaning, you have a toothache or you need to get your treatment plan going - whatever the reason, we're here to help you get your confident smile. Whether you're a new patient or a returning friend, we can't wait to see you at your next appointment at either of our Winnipeg clinics!

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