825 S Waukegan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045

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5 Tips for a Cavity-Free Dental Visit


You’ve heard it from your parents and your dentist… Everyone knows your basic oral care routine you’re supposed to adhere to in order to avoid cavities: brush twice a day, make sure you floss daily and visit your Lake Forest dentist once every six months for a check-up and cleaning. Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are about your dental care, odds are you will get a cavity at some point in your life. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 90% of American adults over the age of 20 have had at least one cavity in their life.

So, is there more you could be doing to keep the cavities at bay? Here are 5 tips to help you make sure your next trip to the dentist is cavity-free, provided by the Lincolnshire family dentists at Lake Forest Smiles.

Tip 1: Know your cavity risk level

The best way to know your risk level is to have a thorough dental exam. Lake Forest Smiles performs one of these exams during each of our cleaning appointments. This is also why twice-yearly dental visors are so important. With regular visits to your dentist, you’ll know where your oral health stands, what you need to change about your hygiene routine, what treatments may be needed and when they want to see you in the office again.

Tip 2: Brush your teeth regularly, properly and with the right brush

You’ve been brushing your teeth since they first popped out of your gum line. Brushing helps to get rid of debris and bacteria that accumulate on your teeth, preventing cavities and fighting tooth decay. The American Dental Association suggests brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Make sure you’re replacing your brush every three to four months. You can find the complete guide to teeth brushing from the ADA here.

Tip 3: Substitute sugary and acidic drinks for more water

Are you a regular soda, coffee or iced tea drinker? Unfortunately, your choice beverage may be damaging your teeth with prolonged exposure. If you add sugar, syrups or creamers to your drink, your risk of cavities is heightened. This gets worse if you tend to sip your coffee over a longer period of time; the sugars from your drink linger in your saliva, and have more time to attach to the surfaces of your teeth. You can counterbalance this by finishing your drink within a 20-minute period followed by some water, or sip water alongside your beverage.

Tip 4: Get into the habit of flossing

When you’re not flossing, your teeth aren’t getting the full cleaning they need. A toothbrush can’t get into the spaces between your teeth the same way that floss does. If you’re not flossing, nasty bacteria that lead to cavities and infections can congregate. Taking just a few minutes out of your day to do a quick floss could make all the difference when it comes to maintaining your oral health.

Tip 5: Quit smoking

Most people think of the lungs when smoking is mentioned, but smoking cigarettes can affect your health in many other ways. Smoking poses a significant threat to your mouth, gums and teeth. Not only can it significantly stain teeth, it can cause tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss and elevates your risk of oral cancer. Skipping out on cigarettes will surely lower your risk for cavities and other oral issues.

Preventive Dentistry in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Lincolnshire in Illinois

At Lake Forest Smiles, we are committed to helping our patients achieve and maintain a high level of oral health. We also believe good oral health is a key component of overall wellness. If you have concerns of a cavity or it’s time for your biannual checkup, visit us online or call us at (847) 234-4800 to schedule an appointment today.

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