How to Avoid Fillings (and Other Dental Procedures)

woman smiling showing teeth

Caring for your teeth is a small but important part of managing your overall health. But, how far are you willing to go before you require more invasive care?

While you may think it’s okay to skip a few brushings, the buildup of plaque and bacteria in your mouth can lead to tooth decay. This creates cavities that then need special attention to either repair or prevent from getting worse.

Decay can also work its way through the different layers of your teeth. Typically, it begins by breaking down the outer enamel layer. Getting into the dentin layer is where fillings become a solution. If the decay makes it to the pulp (the center of your tooth containing living tissue and nerves), you’ve reached a toothache that could have been avoided.

Do what you can right now to keep your teeth in good shape. Starting with the steps below, address any pain or decay you may be experiencing sooner rather than later.

Brush Properly

The best thing you can do for your teeth is to brush them as directed by your dentist. People have a tendency to rush through the brushing process, meaning that plaque gets left behind–especially on the hard-to-reach surfaces of your back teeth–where it can begin wearing down your tooth enamel.

Brushing your teeth needs to be done not only twice a day, but you should be taking a whole two minutes to get them clean. This is plenty of time to focus on all surfaces, even those hardest to reach. Make sure you’re using a toothbrush with soft bristles as well that won’t damage your gums and lead to other problems.

If you’re ready to get technical, practice brushing at a 45-degree angle to both protect your gums and ensure plaque is being removed. You’ll also want to use a circular motion that will help you reach the different angle and spaces of your teeth.

Floss Daily

You read that right! There’s no chore that seems so tedious as flossing. But it’s recommended that you floss between your teeth at least once a day. Ideally, every time you brush your teeth.

Maybe you think swishing a mouthful of mouthwash is a decent substitute, but think again. Flossing removes plaque buildup from spaces even your toothbrush may not be able to reach, including surfaces near your gumline.

Flossing plays a special role in your gum health as well, preventing swelling, bleeding, and more serious issues like gingivitis. And there are several ways to make flossing easier, too, so check out your drugstore shelf for floss picks, oral irrigators, and even special threaders or stiffened floss for those with braces.

Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods

Some of the foods you love may be doing more damage than you think. Things like soda, sour candy, and citrus fruits can take a toll on the protective surfaces of your teeth. It wears them down and makes them more vulnerable to decay.

Try to change up the diet choices you’re making to limit these types of foods. You can also limit the contact your teeth has with these substances by doing things like drinking your soda through a straw and brushing your teeth or swishing with water after consuming them.

Ask Your Dentist For Specialized Treatments or Recommendations

If you have teeth that, no matter what you do, still seem to end up with dental caries, it’s important to talk to your dentist about how you can strengthen your enamel.

The professionals at can recommend an appropriate fluoride toothpaste of treatment for your teeth that can help your tooth enamel do its job. You may also be a candidate for dental sealants, a fairly quick and easy procedure. Its meant to protect weak tooth enamel in both children and adults.

Also Read  3 Ways to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

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