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Brad M. Freedman, DDS & Associates
4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

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Cavity Prevention Advice for Everyone

The importance of practicing excellent dental hygiene habits can’t be overstressed. Failure to establish consistent habits can lead to a lifetime of negative ramifications for both your dental health and your overall health. Allowing cavities and decay to set in and remain untreated can increase the risk of developing serious illnesses. Preventing tooth decay and cavities is the best course of action. The best way to get started is to learn about what causes tooth decay and how you can prevent cavities from occurring.

Cavities are holes that form in the teeth when the acid and bacteria that exist within plaque continue to wear down the enamel of the teeth. If you have a cavity, it’s best that you get it treated by your family dentistry practitioner.

The type of treatment necessary for a cavity depends on the size of the cavity. Small cavities tend to be treated via fillings, while large cavities may require the placement of a crown over the tooth. Tooth decay that reaches the inside of the tooth’s pulp and causes infection will most likely require a root canal to fix.

The Best Ways to Prevent Cavities

What happens if you skip out on brushing your teeth? While it may not seem like a big deal, skipping good oral health habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, can lead to an increased risk of disease. It can even lead to the loss of your teeth. Preventing decay and disease from occurring is as simple as establishing an excellent dental care routine at home, while also seeing your dentist in Alexandria on a regular basis. The cavity prevention tips listed below will assist you in keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and strong for the rest of your life.

  1. Brush your teeth regularly. At a minimum, you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day. You should use a fluoride toothpaste when brushing your teeth. While it is ideal to brush after you’ve eaten a meal or snack, if you are unable to do so, you should at the very least rinse your mouth out with water after doing so.
  2. Add mouthwash to your routine. A fluoride mouthwash can add additional protection against decay and disease. You should utilize this tool twice a day after you have completed brushing your teeth.
  3. Routinely visit your dentist. Most dentists recommend that you come in for an examination and professional dental cleaning once every six months. If you have special dental care needs, you may need to come in more frequently.
  4. Have your teeth sealed. Dental sealants seal off nooks and crannies within the teeth that tend to trap food particles. Using sealants can help prevent decay and cavities from becoming problems. In addition to this, dental sealants have a lifespan of up to ten years or longer if you practice good oral health care habits.
  5. Consume tap water. The vast majority of towns and cities add fluoride to their drinking water supply. This means that drinking tap water can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. In addition to remineralizing the teeth, drinking water also increases the amount of saliva inside of your mouth, leading to more bacteria being washed away naturally. If you tend to drink only bottled water, be sure to add tap water into the mix.
  6. Eat a tooth-healthy diet. Cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, sugar-free gum, unsweetened coffee and tea are all good choices for your dental health. These foods are excellent for your smile in different ways.
  7. Speak to your family dentist. If you want to know more about the preventative measures available to you, your dentist will be able to give you more information that is specifically tailored to your dental health care needs.

The Basics of Treating Cavities

There are many treatment options and techniques available that fight bacteria, plaque, and acid before they can do significant damage to your oral health.


Fillings are typically utilized in situations where the cavity is small. When a cavity is placed, your dentist in Alexandria will remove the portion of decayed tooth and replace it with the filling.


Dentists utilize crowns when there is a large cavity. A crown is also known as a cap. These are installed over the affected tooth so that it looks and functions normally.

Root Canal

When decay is left untreated, it can move into the pulp of the tooth. This leads to infection. It also means that a root canal will need to be done by your dentist. This commonly performed procedure consists of the dentist removing the pulp and the nerve. The roots of the tooth are then sealed.

Fillings, crowns, and root canals are the most well-known treatments for tooth decay and cavities. However, researchers are developing new technologies that allow dentists to detect decay before it has a chance to turn into a cavity. One of these devices is a fluorescent light that shows your dentist where decay is beginning to set in. Your dentist can then utilize a sealant or fluoride supplement to prevent that area from turning into a cavity. Another type of new treatment being researched is a type of tooth filling that sends fluoride to neighboring teeth so that they also do not become decayed.

While these exciting advancements can do wonders for preventing cavities, the best course of action that you can take is to adhere to a good oral hygiene routine at home. This routine should consist of brushing and flossing. You should also make a commitment to see your dentist every six months. In addition to this, you should eat a diet full of foods that are healthy for your teeth, mouth and gums. Sticking with good dental health habits will ensure that your smile stays beautiful and healthy for years to come.

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Brad M. Freedman, DDS & Associates

4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

(703) 940-1886