What to Expect From a Dental Cleaning

 

Professional dental cleanings are crucial for proper oral hygiene. No matter how well you brush your teeth at home, an expert has more skill and knowledge. There are a lot of benefits to getting your teeth cleaned professionally. But most importantly, it can prevent a lot of serious illnesses. Here’s everything you should expect from a dental cleaning.

It’s never too late to start getting dental cleanings. Whether you’re getting over your fear of the dentist or you just haven’t had the time, it’s good that you’re thinking about getting cleanings. Make it a regular habit, and you’ll reap the benefits of proper oral hygiene in no time.

How to Prepare for a Dental Cleaning

Technically, you don’t have to do anything before your dental cleaning. If you regularly brush and floss your teeth, you don’t have anything to worry about. But every dentist and dental hygienist appreciates it if you brush your teeth before your appointment as a courtesy.

If you have a preexisting condition (or you suspect cavities or gum disease), make sure you inform the professional who’s cleaning your teeth.

The 6 Steps of a Professional Dental Cleaning

Usually, a dental hygienist or a dentist completes your professional dental cleaning. It usually takes 30-60 minutes for the procedure. These are the steps you can expect as soon as you land in the dentist chair.

1. Physical Examination

First, your dental hygienist will examine the current state of your teeth and gums. They use a small mirror to check the hard-to-see areas of your mouth.

The dental hygienist will note any signs of gingivitis, cavities, or other potential concerns. If they notice a major problem, they’ll call in the dentist to discuss potential treatments. 

2. Scaling: Removing Plaque and Tartar

Once the dental hygienist finishes your examination, they’ll start the dental cleaning with scaling. Using a tool called a scaler, they remove any tartar buildup and plaque from your teeth. You’ll hear scraping sounds, but this is completely normal. 

The more plaque and tartar buildup you have, the longer this step will take.

Plaque is harmful bacteria on your teeth. You can easily remove it with common home remedies. But if you don’t, it can easily develop into tartar. Tartar is a very hard material that’s fused to your teeth. Only a dental hygienist or dentist should remove it.

3. Polishing With Gritty Toothpaste

Next, the dental hygienist will use gritty toothpaste and an electric toothbrush to brush your teeth. The grinding noise you’ll hear during this process may be alarming. But, it’s just the sound of the leftover tartar disappearing.

Using harsh toothpaste like this is great to polish your teeth twice a year. But using it every day would wear down your enamel quickly. You should always be gentler on your teeth when you’re brushing them at home.

4. Flossing at a Dental Cleaning

No matter how well and how regularly you floss at home, nothing beats the flossing during a professional dental cleaning. Let the expert go through your teeth to reach problematic spots and to get rid of leftover tartar.

5. Rinsing

After flossing, you’ll probably have to rinse your mouth. This helps get rid of all the debris from plaque and tartar that got removed. (Don’t be surprised at multiple rinsings during a dental cleaning.)

6. Fluoride Treatment

The last step of a dental cleaning is fluoride treatment. Fluoride is a chemical that helps protect your enamel. Most kinds of toothpaste contain this ingredient. But, a professional fluoride treatment is more effective.

The dental hygienist will place a foamy gel or a sticky paste into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. Then, you’ll have to bite onto this and hold it in your mouth for a minute. Additionally, the dental hygienist will also use fluoride varnish. They’ll paint it on your teeth with a brush. Saliva makes this varnish harden, and it will protect your teeth for the next couple of months.

After Your Dental Cleaning

Your dental hygienist will tell you how long you need to wait before you eat or drink again. Usually, you can eat or drink right away. But, you may not want to. A lot of people enjoy the minty freshness of dental cleaning and want to preserve that feeling.

Be aware that your gums may be sensitive after the procedure. And eating hot or cold foods may cause you discomfort. So, try to avoid them until your teeth are less sensitive. 

You can immediately schedule your next dental cleaning appointment for 6 months in advance. Until then, make sure you keep your oral hygiene routine up. Brush and floss at least twice every day. Scraping your tongue also contributes positively to your oral health.

Does a Dental Cleaning Hurt?

A lot of people are scared of dental cleanings. The prodding, the strange noises, and the discomfort can alarm anyone. But for most people, a dental cleaning isn’t painful at all.

However, some circumstances can make your dental cleaning hurt. If you have sensitive or inflamed gums, you may feel more discomfort than others. Cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay can also make dental cleanings quite painful.

It’s important to communicate your pain to your dental hygienist. They can take a break, avoid the painful area, or examine the source of the pain and see what can be done to alleviate it. 

Why Professional Dental Cleaning Is Important

There are a lot of benefits to professional dental cleanings. And there are a lot of risks to not getting one. So, if you think that your brushing at home is good enough, you’re in for a surprise. Even the fear of the dentist isn’t enough justification to skip your dental cleaning.

1. A Dental Hygienist Has Better Products and Tools

Your toothbrush and toothpaste aren’t medical grades. Even if you do brush your teeth with the proper technique and pressure, a dental hygienist can still do it better. Not to mention those who don’t brush their teeth well without even realizing it.

2. An Expert Can Recognize Problems Earlier

Surprise! You can’t look inside your mouth. And looking in the mirror can only get you so far. A dental expert has the skill to see every part of your mouth and the knowledge to recognize early signs of problems.

3. You Can’t Remove Tartar at Home

If you allow plaque to build up, tartar forms on your teeth. This hard material gets fused to your teeth and doesn’t scrub off with a toothbrush. Instead, you need the dental hygienist’s scaler to get rid of it. But, you also need their skillset. Trying to remove tartar yourself can cause serious injuries or harm your enamel

And the last thing you want to do when cleaning your teeth to promote your overall dental health is create problems.

4. Bad Dental Hygiene Can Lead to Illness and Even Death

Let’s say don’t mind the built-up tartar on your teeth. That tartar will eat into your teeth. Next thing you know, you’ll have cavities. And you’ll probably only notice the cavities when they become extremely painful. 

If you’re lucky, you may only need a filling or root canal surgery. But, you may actually lose your tooth.

Bad oral hygiene can also lead to gum disease. Untreated gum disease has severe complications. This inflammation affects more than just your gums. It can spread to your lymph nodes, and even up to your eye

Ultimately, untreated gum disease can give you a stroke or a heart attack. By then, your bad oral hygiene became a life-threatening condition. It’s easy to prevent that by going to the dentist for cleanings regularly.

5. Dental Hygienist Are Very Nice

This one’s for those who are afraid of the dentist. The dental hygienist will do everything possible to make your dental cleaning as smooth as possible. No matter how scary the prodding and the sounds are, they’ll take good care of you.

How Often Should You Have a Professional Dental Cleaning?

Experts recommend that you get a professional dental cleaning twice a year. That means that you should make an appointment every six months. But, it ultimately depends on your dental health. 

Some studies suggest that people who aren‘t at risk of gum disease can get a dental cleaning once a year as well. But, even for them, twice a year can be beneficial.

Those at the risk of gum disease or other oral health problems need to get a dental cleaning at least twice a year. This can significantly prevent and treat their dental problems.

Save Money on Your Next Dental Cleaning

A lot of people hesitate to get a dental cleaning because of the cost. Although they’re not afraid of the dentist, they’re wary of the bill that follows. While every dental practice has different prices, an average adult dental cleaning can be pricey.

Luckily, you don’t have to pay that much for a dental cleaning if you have a Carefree Dental Card. The Carefree Dental discount plan unlocks huge savings at participating dentists. 

With a Carefree Dental Card, you could save between 15% - 50%*, per visit, in most instances on dental cleanings at participating providers. Get a thorough dental cleaning (and peace of mind) without worrying about the price when you sign up for a Carefree Dental Card today!

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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How to Clean Your Tongue Effectively

Why You Should Be Brushing Your tongue

You need to brush and floss every day, right? That’s what we’ve all been taught. But our parents, teachers, and even dentists often forget to mention the third component of oral hygiene: the tongue. Follow this useful guide on how to clean your tongue and learn why you should do it every day.

Why You Should Clean Your Tongue

Proper oral hygiene is crucial for your overall health. And your tongue plays a very important role in that. Cleaning it regularly can prevent serious diseases. Not to mention how good it feels. Here are the top 5 benefits of cleaning your tongue to motivate you.

1. Less Bacteria on Your Tongue

Our teeth and gums are targets for bacteria, and our tongues are no exception. Due to the tongue's unique structure, bacteria can accumulate and thrive between your taste buds. To remove it, you need to know how to clean your tongue properly.

Rinsing alone won't help. These microorganisms are too small and stick together between the tongue's crevices in the biofilm. When harmful bacteria aren't removed, the situation can lead to tooth damage and foul odors. (And these are problems nobody wants to deal with…)

2. Avoid Bad Breath by Cleaning Your Tongue

Sulfuring compounds on your tongue are one of the biggest contributors to bad breath. Luckily, cleaning your tongue can get rid of it effectively. The difference in your fresher breath will be noticeable.

What tool you use to clean your tongue matters when it comes to bad breath. A tongue scraper gets rid of 75% of sulfuric compounds. Meanwhile, a toothbrush only takes off 45% of them.

3. Reduce Plaque With Tongue Scraping

Plaque is the bacteria that builds up on your teeth. Untreated plaque leads to tartar, cavities, and gum disease. By scraping the bacteria off your tongue, you also prevent plaque buildup

4. Your Mouth Will Feel Fresher

A great but often forgotten benefit of cleaning your tongue is the new feeling of your mouth. Brushing your teeth makes it feel fresher, so why shouldn’t you scrape your tongue? Enjoying that new sensation is definitely worth cleaning your tongue.

5. You May Taste Differently

When you scrape your tongue, you also free up your covered taste buds. One study found that cleaning your tongue can make you taste sucrose and citric acid differently. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Tongue?

You should clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Make it part of your dental care routine. That means at least once in the morning and once in the evening before bed. Twice every day.

Ideally, you should also clean your tongue at midday. Usually, if you have a bad taste in your mouth, or feel that your mouth is overly dry. 

Once you get into the habit of cleaning your tongue twice a day, you'll notice fresher breath and (hopefully) improved dental health at your next checkup.

How to Clean Your Tongue With a Tongue Scraper

The best tool you can use to clean your tongue is a tongue scraper. This specifically designed tool is the most effective way to scrape away the bacteria. Follow these simple steps to effectively clean your tongue with a scraper.

  1. Buy a tongue scraper. It’s usually made of metal or plastic. Some tongue scrapers have a handle with a triangle scraper bit. Others are a V-shaped bent design.
  2. Stick out your tongue as much as you can.
  3. Position the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. Go as far as you can without triggering your gag reflex. 
  4. Next, push the scraper down on your tongue. Move it towards the front. 
  5. When you’ve pulled the scraper all the way, rinse it with water. Spit out excess saliva.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5. Clean your tongue as much as you need to get rid of harmful bacteria.
  7. Finally, clean the tongue scraper thoroughly after you’re done.

 

How to Clean Your Tongue With a Toothbrush

Even if you don’t have a tongue scraper, you should still clean your tongue. While your toothbrush isn’t as effective, it’s better than nothing. Here’s how to clean your tongue with a toothbrush to achieve the best results.

  1. A soft-bristle toothbrush is the best to clean your tongue.
  2. Stick out your tongue as much as you can.
  3. Position the toothbrush at the back of your tongue. Go as far as you can without triggering your gag reflex. 
  4. Brush gently forward and backward on your tongue.
  5. Spit out excess saliva and rinse your mouth with warm water.
  6. Finally, clean your toothbrush thoroughly after each use.

How to Clean Your Tongue With a Spoon

If all else fails, you can also clean your tongue with a spoon. A regular tablespoon can do the trick. Follow the same steps as you would with a tongue scraper. But, instead of the scraper, use the inside of the spoon to scrape the bacteria off your tongue. 

Can Mouthwash Clean Your Tongue?

Using mouthwash regularly can benefit your oral health. Mouthwash can clean your teeth and areas of your mouth you wouldn’t reach otherwise. Mouthwash can also give you a fresher breath. And some oral rinses even contain ingredients to fight bacteria. 

Still, it’s no substitute for a thorough tongue scraping. If you want all the health benefits of cleaning your tongue, using a tongue scraper is your best bet. 

When to See a Dentist

Making tongue scraping a regular part of your dental hygiene routine is beneficial in a lot of ways. Doing it regularly can prevent diseases and even tooth loss. But, if you notice any unusual changes to your tongue, you should definitely speak to a dentist.

If you develop white or pink patches on your tongue, or if it appears smooth and glossy, seek out a professional. Changes to your tongue can be a sign of a severe underlying health condition.

A lot of people avoid the dentist because of the cost. But, if you leave even minor oral health conditions untreated, they can quickly develop into severe illnesses. Luckily, you don’t have to choose between your oral health and your wallet if you have a Carefree Dental Card.

The Carefree Dental discount plan can unlock huge savings on dental procedures at participating dentists. You can save between 15%-50%* off your bill per visit in most instances. 

Learn more when you sign up for a Carefree Dental Card today!

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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5 Reasons Why Practicing Yoga Is Good for Your Teeth

Who knew yoga is actually dentist-recommended? Yoga improves your flexibility, your mood, and your wellbeing. But what most people don’t realize is that it’s also great for your dental health. Crazy, right? It’s actually not that far-fetched. This guide will show you 5 ways yoga is beneficial for your teeth.

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices. It originates from ancient India. There are a lot of different kinds of yoga that focus on different principles. But, they’re all built on a series of movements called asanas.

Today, yoga is a popular form of exercise. It allows you to strengthen your body, and make yourself more flexible. Yoga is also a great way to relieve stress and connect with your body.

5 Reasons to Practice Yoga for Your Teeth

Yoga is a wonderfully therapeutic practice for our bodies. It improves your mental wellbeing, flexibility, circulation, the health of our muscles, joints, and organs. And yoga is even good for your teeth.

If you’ve never tried yoga, perhaps it’s time to start now. Here are the 5 reasons why giving yoga a go promotes healthier teeth and a healthier you.

1. Yoga Reduces Stress

Practicing yoga is a great way to relieve stress. Since a regular yoga session is a combination of a workout and breathing exercises, it makes you refreshed and calm by the time it ends.

But what does stress have to do with dental health?

You Don’t Take Care Of Your Teeth Well Enough if You’re Stressed

You may be surprised that stress and dental health have a lot in common. Stress wears down the body, often leaving us feeling too tired or uninspired to take care of our dental health.

Stress Causes Bruxism

Stressed people also have a tendency to grind their teeth. This is called bruxism. Bruxism is very bad for your dental health, and its side effects can lead to serious issues long term. Your front teeth get worn down if you grind them. If you grind the dentin away, your teeth will become sensitive and painful. 

Bruxism can also lead to gum recession, nerve damage, loose teeth, and jaw impairment. So, if a little bit of yoga helps clear your mind and reduce your stress, avoiding grinding your teeth is definitely worth it.

2. Yoga Improves Posture

Having good posture comes with many benefits. It improves your breathing, your core muscles, mood, and self confidence. Holding your body well also promotes better memory, brain function, productivity, and energy. 

And having a healthy posture is also great for your teeth. Most people wouldn't think that posture has anything to do with dental health. But studies have shown that posture plays a significant role on the health of our teeth. 

How, you ask?

Poor posture affects more than just the spine and neck. It also affects the mouth. When a person slouches or hunches over, the lower jaw shifts forward causing the upper and lower teeth to come out of alignment. The skull also moves back and compresses the spine. 

This movement puts stress on the surrounding muscles, joints, and bones. If left untreated, this can create pain and inflammation in the muscles and joints when the mouth opens and closes.

Bad Posture Can Lead to TMD

Bad posture can lead to jaw issues like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a common medical condition that involves some issues with how the upper and lower jaw work together.

Some common side effects include chronic headaches, pain or a clicking sound when opening the jaw. You can also feel the tenderness of the jaw and face. Sometimes, TMD changes your jaw alignment which can result in uneven wear of the teeth or cracked teeth.

Achieve a Balanced Bite By Practicing Yoga

An imbalanced bite causes a ripple effect for the rest of the body. Your bite influences the position of your jaw. How you hold your jaw changes how you hold your head. Then your head affects your balance. Your body will need to structurally compensate for your poor dental alignment.

Other issues, such as the compression of the ear canal which then can cause allergies or drainage issues, may occur as a result. Other forms of poor posture include poorly balanced shoulders which can cause stress on the ribs and the organs underneath.

By improving your posture with yoga, you can take the strain off your jaw. And that can make your whole mouth blissfully happy. 

 

3. Yoga Stimulates Saliva Production

Saliva is a key ingredient for washing away bacteria and food particles. It contains antibacterial enzymes that break down food and make food easier to swallow. 

When the salivary glands slow down the production of saliva, bacteria grows easily. That is how you get "morning breath". A dry mouth creates an environment where bacteria can thrive. Chronic dry mouth can then cause plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Practicing yoga stimulates the salivary glands. Yoga poses such as forward bends, twists, and inverted poses are known to increase saliva production.

Try Khechari Mudra to Activate Salivary Glands

A mudra is a gesture or attitude that directs energies in yoga. The Khechari mudra is an exercise that helps activate your salivary glands.

The process involves drawing the tip of the tongue along the roof of the mouth toward the back of the nostrils to the upper throat and then holding that pose with your eyes and mouth closed for as long as you can.

4. Yoga Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation of the gums can be painful. It can also cause other problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. But, inflammation can also spread to the rest of your body, and trigger unique problems in other places.

This is all because of a hormone called cortisol. Your body produces cortisol to fight stress. But, access to this hormone doesn’t make you calmer. Instead, you fall on the other side of the horse. With too much cortisol, you become even more stressed.

Yoga can help your body manage this extra cortisol. Restorative yoga reduces inflammation in the gums, and avoids other oral health problems.

5. Yoga Teaches You How to Breath

Every yoga teacher will tell you that breathing is the basis of practicing yoga. All the movements and poses are carefully coordinated with your breathing. And as so it happens, these breathing exercises also help your teeth.

Proper breathing techniques prevent your mouth and throat from drying out. Which is a great way to keep bacteria out of your mouth.

Yoga breathing exercises can also help curb your cigarette cravings, something your teeth will thank you for if you’re a smoker. It also leads to better sleep at night, and reduced blood pressure, all of which contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Combine Yoga with a Trip to the Dentist for Healthy Teeth

As amazing and as beneficial as yoga is, it’s no substitute for a dentist. Use dentist-recommended methods and products to keep your teeth clean, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups. Combine yoga with a dentist to truly take care of your teeth.

However, going to the dentist isn’t always the most affordable option. While you can join yoga classes online for free, you’ll have to pay for a procedure at a dentist.

Luckily, with the Carefree Dental Card, you can save a lot of money on your trip to the dentist. Unlock discounts at participating dental providers.. 

You can sign up to a Carefree Dental Card today, and access the benefits of cheaper dental care instantly!

 

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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3 Types of Cavities and How to Fix Them

Your Personal Guide to Fighting Tooth Decay

Cavities aren’t just annoying, they’re a very serious problem that should be solved as quickly as possible. When you suspect a cavity, it’s important to know what type of cavity it is, so it can be treated effectively. Here are the three types of cavities, what causes them, and the possible treatment options that can get you fast relief.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity (also called tooth decay or caries) is a hole in your tooth. It’s an opening on the hard surface of your enamel that constantly expands unless it’s treated. The bigger hole the cavity causes, the more layers of your tooth are affected.

This permanently damaged area isn’t painless either. An untreated cavity can result in severe pain and further infection. Ultimately, an ignored cavity can lead to the loss of your tooth.

There are various reasons why cavities develop. Most commonly, it’s a lack of dental hygiene. But bacteria in your mouth, trauma to your teeth, and sipping sugary drinks can also affect the frequency and severity of the cavities that form.

And they’re common. More than 90% of American adults have cavities. And over a quarter of the population has some form of untreated tooth decay.

The Three Types of Cavities

The type of cavity depends on the location of the hole on the tooth. Based on where a cavity can form, there are three types of cavities:

  1. Pit and fissure cavities
  2. Smooth surface cavities
  3. Root cavities

1. Pit and Fissure Cavities

You'll find pit and fissure cavities on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. They are most common on the back teeth. Pit and fissure cavities often form because of food particles or plaque that gets stuck in the grooves and crevices on the top of the teeth.

Stuck food and plaque combined with poor dental hygiene often lead to a pit and fissure cavity.

If caught early, these types of cavities are easily treated. Luckily, fluoride toothpaste can get rid of an early pit and fissure cavity quickly. However, once the cavity reaches the dentin a dentist must remove the decay before treating the cavity.

A small or medium cavity requires fillings or composites. And a large pit and fissure cavity will most likely need a crown. Both can be provided by your local dentist.

2. Smooth Surface Cavities

Smooth-surface cavities occur on the flat exterior surface of the teeth. They are most commonly found on the teeth at the sides of the mouth. These are some of the slowest-growing cavities and are also the least common.

Just like pit and fissure cavities, smooth surface cavities also occur when people don’t brush correctly or regularly. 

Smooth-surface cavities are the easiest for dentists to treat. Fluoride-rich toothpaste and regular dental flossing using the correct technique should be enough to restore your oral health.

Keep in mind, it takes some time for tooth decay to eat through the enamel on the teeth's smooth surfaces. That’s where the enamel is thickest. However, if your cavity progresses this far, you’ll need to go to the dentist for a filling.

3. Root Cavities

Root cavities are located on the surface of the roots of the teeth. They most often occur among older adults. This is also the demographic most likely to have receding gums and other gum disorders.

When gums recede, the roots are left exposed. That leaves them vulnerable to tooth decay. This is because they aren't covered in the same hard, protective enamel that teeth have.

Removing the decay is the first step in treating root cavities. The cavity is then replaced with a filling or crown. In severe cases, when the decay has spread to the tooth's pulp, root canal treatment may be advised.

The damage root cavities cause spreads quickly because the cementum that covers a tooth's root isn't as tough as enamel. That's why it's important to fix a root cavity as soon as it's detected.

How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?

When it comes to these types of cavities, it’s best to leave their treatment to a professional. If you suspect you have a cavity, you should visit your local dentist. Your dentist will examine the damage to your tooth and identify the type of cavity.

Once your dentist determines the type of cavity you have, they’ll decide on the most appropriate treatment to counter the negative effects of the cavity. The treatment varies based on the severity and size of the hole in your tooth.

Mild Cavity

When a cavity is barely a hole in your tooth, it’s easy to fix. They usually resolve themselves with fluoride treatments, such as toothpaste, gels, varnishes, or fluoride-enriched water.

Small to Medium Cavity

Once the cavity eats through the dentin, your dentist needs to intervene. They will remove the decayed part of the tooth and replace it with a dental filling.

Large Cavity

If a cavity is untreated for a longer time, the size of the hole grows. Larger cavities can’t be treated with simple filling anymore. Both smooth surface and pit and fissure type cavities would need a crown at this point.

Severe Cavity

Since your roots don’t contain enamel, a root cavity can turn into a severe cavity rapidly. Once the decay spread to the pulp, your dentist will most likely suggest a root canal treatment. 

Tooth Extraction for Cavities

Your dentist will do everything in their power to save your tooth. But, any type of cavity that’s left untreated for a long period of time has the same fate. The tooth will need to be pulled. Your dentist will ultimately make the decision as a last resort. Either way, if you suspect you have a cavity, it’s best not to delay a dental exam.

 

Can You Reverse a Cavity?

A cavity by definition is permanent damage to the tooth. But, it’s a process. If you catch a cavity very early, your enamel can still remineralize itself.

However, if a cavity does form deeper, it becomes irreparably damaged. At that point, you can’t reverse it. Instead, your only option is to treat it.

That’s why it’s best to do everything possible to prevent cavities. Luckily, even the simplest efforts can prevent tooth decay effectively.

What Can You Do to Prevent These Types of Cavities?

Although treating cavities is relatively simple when they are caught early, prevention is always better than a cure. Here are some ways you can prevent cavities from forming.

1. Brush Regularly

Brushing your teeth every day is the basis of dental hygiene. Make sure you know all the correct techniques and use them regularly.

2. Use Fluoride-Rich Toothpaste

Fluoride strengthens your enamel. If you’re prone to cavities, combining your regular tooth brushing with fluoride-rich toothpaste could be very beneficial.  

3. Floss Well

Flossing removes harmful bacteria and food stuck between your teeth. This reduces the effects of a smooth surface cavity could have. Just be sure that you’re flossing correctly.

4. Stay Hydrated

When your mouth is dry, you don’t have enough saliva to keep your teeth clean and strengthen your enamel. Bacteria flourishes and cavities form easily. 

 

5. Avoid Sugar

Sugary food and drinks are the most common reasons for cavities. If you reduce the amount of sugar you consume, you give your teeth a better fighting chance too.

6. Go to the Dentist Regularly

When you visit a dentist for regular checkups, they can make sure you don’t have cavities. Or they can catch them early on, so you won’t need more intrusive treatments.

Most importantly, never delay getting treatment for a cavity. As soon as you suspect that you may have a cavity, seek out a dentist. The faster you get your cavity treated, the less damage it will cause.

Often you won't feel any pain when your cavity is small. That’s why you shouldn't wait for discomfort to book your next dental appointment. 

Save Money on Your Cavity Treatment

On average, treating a cavity costs between $100 and $250. In addition, you'll need to spend money on your oral exam, cleaning, and possibly x-rays. This list of expenses is why the cost of a filling can range from $100 - $4000. Yikes.

That’s a lot.

But, you can save money on your cavity treatment with the dental card that can instantly save you 15% - 50% in most instances on dental procedures!

With a Carefree Dental Discount Card, you can save on oral exams, x-rays, and fillings. Don’t put off going to the dentist any longer. Keep your teeth cavity-free by booking an appointment with a participating dentist today. And keep more money in your wallet after your appointment with the Carefree Dental Discount Card!

The Carefree Dental blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed dentist or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree Dental Card is not insurance and Carefree Dental is not an insurance provider.

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My Gums Are Receding; What Do I Do Now?

Receding gums are a condition in which your gums begin to recede away from the surface of your teeth, sometimes due to a loss in gum tissue. It’s almost always a consequence of long-term poor oral health, although people with diabetes and other immunological conditions are often at higher risk of receding gums and other periodontic disease. It can cause tooth mobility, tooth loss, and cavities below the gumline. 

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What is Enamel Hypoplasia?

Enamel Hypoplasia can be a lifelong condition that patients continue to treat or a major problem that requires fillings, crowns, and even tooth extractions. To understand the cause of enamel deficiencies and how to treat and prevent them, you need to know how your enamel works and why it doesn't always form correctly. Keep reading to learn more about Enamel Hypoplasia and how dentists treat it.

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Dental Plaque & Cardiovascular Diseases

Updated August 17, 2016

Your heart is one busy organ. It pumps your blood each and every day twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week without a break, ever! Even if we do not eat healthy and do not exercise regularly, our heart pumps our blood, making sure it gets to each pinkie toe clear up to our eyeballs! 

It seems like everything in the body is linked in some way; however, it may surprise you that teeth and the heart directly affect each other. If one has gum disease, it might be a sign of a heart issue. In fact, gum disease may even be the cause of heart issues under certain circumstances. 

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The Top 6 Ways to Keep Your Breath Fresh

Do you have an odor emanating from your mouth and do not know from where it is coming? Do you have coffee breath or morning breath? Bad breath can be a hindrance to relationships as well as a cause of anxiety and stress in the individual with the bad breath. They are afraid to get too close to people when talking with them for fear the other person will smell their bad breath. The odor can become so distracting and foul that it isolates people and causes them to ache for human interaction.

 

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The Best Mouthwash You Can Buy

Updated August 19, 2016

What is your nightly dental routine? Do you even know if you have one or is the motion so ingrained into your routine that it just comes naturally? Do you brush your teeth and then floss right before bed? Do you only brush your teeth? Do you use mouthwash at all? Different people have different routines both before bed and in the morning when it comes to their oral health. Some people brush and floss while others do not floss, but use mouthwash instead. Mouthwash is excellent oral health protection, and it can be a powerful supplement to your brushing and flossing routine. Mouthwashes come in many different formulas with ingredients that help prevent cavities, whiten your teeth, freshen your breath, and battle gingivitis. While some products do it all, others put a greater focus on particular problem areas. Check out these top picks to find the best mouthwash for your needs.

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Why Is My Tongue White?

Updated August 19, 2016

Is your tongue white? Does it have a burning sensation? Is your tongue sore and does it hurt to move it? If so, you may have something wrong. The best thing you can do is to make an appointment and see your dentist to make sure there isn’t anything wrong with your health.

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