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Here are some things you can do to help prevent cavities, and why they help.

Brush and Floss: Brush and floss your teeth! We have heard this advice since we were children, but some individuals still struggle. Here are the basics: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Some people find it helpful to set a series of 30-second timers, one for each quadrant of the mouth. Floss once per day. This should take two to three minutes each time.

Proper brushing and flossing prevent plaque buildup. Plaque is made of living bacteria, which eat the sugar left in your mouth. They create an acidic byproduct that coats the teeth and erodes enamel until a cavity forms. Brushing and flossing removes the bacteria from teeth, thus reducing cavity formation.

Reduce Acid Intake: Acid from bacteria forms cavities; so does acid from foods and drinks. Reduce your intake of acidic drinks, such as wine, soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks. If you do choose to partake of these beverages and can do so, use a straw. This will help protect the teeth from exposure.

Chew Gum: After eating or drinking, the acids from the food temporarily soften the enamel. Thus, it is best not to brush right after eating (unless directed to do so by your dentist). Instead, stimulate the body’s natural defense, saliva, by chewing a piece of sugarless gum. The saliva created can wash food particles away from teeth and help to neutralize the acids, preparing your teeth for brushing.

For more information, call Jason Rountree Family Dentistry in Kingsburg, California, at 559-897-3322. Dr. Jason Rountree and our team look forward to seeing you soon!