Q:

How can you prevent cavities?

A:

Quick Answer

To prevent cavities, you must practice good oral and dental hygiene. The Mayo Clinic recommends brushing teeth at least twice per day, flossing, using mouth wash, visiting a dentist for regular checkups, drinking tap water and eating tooth-healthy foods.

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Full Answer

  1. Brush your teeth

    Using a quality fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth at least two times per day. For the best cavity protection, brush your teeth multiple times each day, immediately after every meal.

  2. Floss your teeth

    Floss every day to clean the areas between your teeth.

  3. Rinse your mouth

    Use a mouth wash containing fluoride to keep your entire mouth as healthy as possible.

  4. See a dentist regularly

    Get regular professional cleanings from your dentist, and consider fluoride treatments. Additionally, dentists can catch dental problems early before they become severe.

  5. Drink tap water

    A majority of public water supplies contain fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities. Drinking only bottled water causes you to miss out on the benefits fluoride provides.

  6. Eat foods that promote healthy teeth

    Consuming fresh vegetables and fruits helps increase saliva flow, which is beneficial for dental health. Additionally, drinking unsweetened tea or coffee and chewing sugar-free gum can help to wash away food particles attached to your teeth. Avoid eating chips, cookies or candy, as these foods break apart and can get stuck in the pits and grooves of teeth.

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