Preventive Jacksonville And Live Oak Dentists

A radiant smile can light up a room, but it takes some maintenance to keep those pearly whites from developing a cavity. Fortunately, cavities are often preventable with the right strategies, such as regular teeth cleanings from our Jacksonville and Live Oak, FL, dentists and at-home care.

Here’s a little background on cavities, plus 6 ways you can get in front of tooth decay.

Cavities: Definition & Treatment

A cavity is a hole in the tooth that has been caused by tooth decay. Any individual, no matter their age, can develop cavities if proper oral hygiene habits are not practiced. For many patients, cavities occur due to a combination of foods consumed and inadequate brushing.

Despite being easy to avoid, cavities are very common. They’re also easily treated so you can enjoy a healthy, restored smile. When one is found, our dentists will remove the decay and treat the affected area using a tooth-colored filling

With this type of filling, no one will be able to tell you’ve had a cavity filled as the material used matches your natural tooth enamel. You can smile confidently knowing there is no risk of any metal showing at all.

Telltale Cavity Symptoms

Depending on where your cavity is and its size, your symptoms could vary. Sometimes cavities are small enough that they don’t produce any symptoms. These typically have to be caught through observation either by you or one of our dentists. 

Cavities can show up as:

  • Pain when biting down
  • Toothaches or out-of-the-blue tooth pain 
  • Sensitive teeth that react to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages
  • Pits or holes in your teeth that are clearly visible
  • Staining on any surface of tooth that is brown, black, or white

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, please call one of our offices. Our dentists can take a look and alleviate your discomfort with the proper treatment.

Ways to Safeguard Your Teeth from Decay

Our dentists want your smile to be as healthy as possible so on top of dental check ups, it’s encouraged that you also care for your teeth and gums at home. We’ve lined up a few things to consider below.

1. Don’t Forget to Set a Daily Oral Health Routine

If you have been a little lax with your oral hygiene lately, now is the time to really commit to the process of keeping your mouth clean every day. The general rule of thumb is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Be sure to brush every tooth surface and clear any debris or food particle from in between your teeth.

2. Exclusively Choose Fluoride Products

Make sure that at least the toothpaste you use contains fluoride. Fluoride is your teeth’s best friend as it works to rebuild weakened enamel, slow down the loss of minerals from enamel, and reverse early tooth decay. Aside from its presence inside dental care products, many communities add fluoride into the public water supply for residents.

3. Schedule Check Ups Twice a Year

Unless you have a dental issue that requires more frequent attention, our dentists would like to see you in one of our offices every 6 months for an oral exam and teeth cleaning. Even if all is well, these visits allow for our dentists to monitor your oral health and take note of any developing areas of concern.

4. Enjoy Healthy Foods & Stay Hydrated

A balanced diet not only does a body good, but it helps your mouth as well. Deciding to enjoy a glass of water instead of soda or juice, for example, washes away leftover bits of food and doesn’t leave sugar behind on teeth. Eating healthier foods will not only limit the amount of plaque that develops on your teeth, but they’ll give you more energy as well.

5. Use a Quality Mouthwash

Swishing with a fluoride or antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing your teeth can reduce your risk for cavities. In general, mouthwash works to stop plaque from building up, strengthen enamel, and kill bacteria capable of causing a gum infection or disease. It can also help reach areas otherwise not accessed by a toothbrush.

6. Have Dental Sealants Applied

Though dental sealants may be a more popular preventive treatment for children, they can also benefit adults. Once applied, sealants are designed to prevent decay from entering the fine grooves and pits located on molars. 

These narrow, hard-to-clean “fissures” are commonly found on back teeth which makes them especially susceptible to cavities. Even the bristles of a toothbrush may not be able to reach inside these areas to properly get rid of any plaque or food particles. If you’re at higher risk for cavities, ask our dentists today about sealants for your smile.

Need a Cleaning Scheduled? 

Sure, oral hygiene habits can get a bit repetitive every day but it’s better to practice them than to have a cavity filled. The first option is more cost-effective! If you do find yourself with a cavity or just need a cleaning on the books, our dentists in Jacksonville and Live Oak, FL, can make sure you’re cared for. Call one of our Higgins & White Dentistry locations today to request an appointment.

Get Started Today

Whatever you need for your smile to shine its brightest, we’re here to provide that for you. Request an appointment!