More than 90% of adults have had at least one cavity, according to research from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Tooth decay is a common problem, but not one that should be taken lightly. If you want to prevent problems with your teeth, you need to take action. Regular semiannual dental checkups are important, as are at-home measures. However, there are other protections available to you. While these natural cavity defenses need support from you and your dentist, they can be a big help.
Saliva can neutralize some bacteria in your mouth, and aid in the clearing away of food debris and other particles. It is an important natural cavity defense. That is why people with dry mouth can be more prone to cavities. If you struggle to produce enough saliva, you should consult with your dentist. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments – commonly used in children’s dentistry – can help offset your vulnerability to decay caused by dry mouth.
The only substance harder than enamel is diamond – that means your teeth are pretty tough! However, cavities can obviously still occur. Your enamel may be tough, but it lacks the ability to repair itself at this point. Your dentist can perform a restorative treatment that removes the infected area of your tooth, to stop the cavity’s growth.
Replacing flavored beverages with water means having less sugar in your diet, which means less of a cavity risk for you. Some water sources can naturally contain fluoride, which helps keep your enamel strong.