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Cavities/tooth decay: Prevention – MayoClinic.com

How to prevent cavities

“Although dental restoration technology has made great strides, any type of filling or device is more likely to need additional work in the future than is an intact tooth. Good oral and dental hygiene can help keep your teeth intact by avoiding cavities and tooth decay. Follow these tips to help prevent cavities:

Brush after eating or drinking. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and ideally after every meal, using fluoride-containing toothpaste. To clean between your teeth, floss or use an interdental cleaner. If you can’t brush after eating, at least try to rinse your mouth with water.

Rinse your mouth. If your dentist feels you have a high risk of developing cavities, he or she may recommend that you use a mouth rinse with fluoride.

Visit your dentist regularly. Get professional tooth cleanings and regular oral exams, which can help prevent problems or spot them early. Your dentist can recommend a schedule that’s best for your situation.

Consider dental sealants. A sealant is a protective plastic coating that’s applied to the chewing surface of back teeth — sealing off the grooves and crannies that tend to collect food in the teeth most likely to get cavities. The sealant protects tooth enamel from plaque and acid. Sealants can help both children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends sealants for all school-age children. Sealants last up to 10 years before they need to be replaced, though they need to be checked regularly to ensure they’re still intact.”

via Cavities/tooth decay: Prevention – MayoClinic.com.