Can You Heal a Cavity Naturally? And 4 Other Dental Health FAQs
A cavity is one of those things that people want to avoid. But they do happen. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 90% of those aged 20 or over have had at least one cavity. And one in four adults between the ages of 20 and 64 currently has at least one cavity. With such a high prevalence of dental caries, one might wonder if and how they can heal a cavity naturally.
FAQs About Your Dental Health
Our patients often ask us questions about how to heal cavities at home, how effective mouthwash is, if there are alternatives to tooth brushing, and if they can skip their visits to the dentist every six months. So, the team at The Tooth Doc has put together a helpful list of FAQs to ensure you are in the know about your dental health.
1. How long does plaque take to harden into tartar?
The coy answer to this question is: short. In reality, plaque only takes 24 to 72 hours to harden into tartar. This is why it is vital for patients to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. And flossing daily is equally as important, if not more so because it can help remove plaque stuck between the teeth.
2. Can I remove tartar at home?
Unfortunately, removing tartar at home is wishful thinking and is not something you should attempt. Even if you have dental tools, it is unsafe to try removing tartar at home. Because tartar develops so quickly, your best course of action is to stay on top of brushing and flossing and book an appointment with your dentist near Omaha every six months so they can effectively and safely remove the tartar with a professional dental cleaning.
3. Can I use mouthwash instead of brushing my teeth?
Though you might appreciate the swiftness of rinsing with mouthwash and the freshness that immediately ensues after a good swig, swish, and spit, mouthwash is designed to help flush away the food particles that have loosened during the brushing and flossing process. Though an extra mouthwash daily can help keep your mouth fresh, it will not remove the tartar.
But while we are on the topic of mouthwash, here are some other helpful tidbits.
- Using alcohol-free mouthwash is better for your oral health than doing nothing.
- If you eat something at night after brushing and flossing, and you don’t have 30 minutes to wait to brush your teeth again, it’s okay to use mouthwash and floss instead of brushing.
- Rinse with mouthwash at least 30 minutes after you vomit instead of brushing your teeth to clear away the taste..
4. Can I skip going to the dentist if I have really good oral hygiene habits?
First, if you have excellent oral hygiene habits, kudos to you! That’s a significant accomplishment and not one that we underestimate. But taking care of your teeth at home is only half the game. Even if you practice excellent oral hygiene habits, they must be accompanied by routine visits to the dentist every six months. At your appointment, we’ll clean your teeth and check the overall health of your teeth and gums.
And remember, only your dentist has the tools, skills, and experience to remove dental tartar and prevent tooth decay safely.
5. Can I heal a cavity naturally?
Though there are things you can do to reverse demineralization in its earliest stages, reversing a cavity is impossible, unfortunately. The very beginning part of the cavity process, weakened enamel or minimal demineralization, can be remineralized with good oral hygiene and fluoride. Still, it would be best to visit your dentist for an evaluation and recommendations.
Once you have a cavity, your dentist must treat it with either a filling or a crown. This means that the best cavity remedy is preventive dentistry and excellent oral care at home. Other ways to lessen your risk of developing a cavity include:
- Sticking to a healthy diet consisting of tooth-friendly foods
- Avoiding excessive sugary and starchy foods
- Drinking enough water throughout the day
- Quitting smoking or tobacco use
- Considering dental sealants and fluoride treatments
Visit your dentist near Omaha for more oral care and dental health tips.
The team at The Tooth Doc in Omaha loves chatting with patients about ways to improve your family’s oral care habits. So be sure to talk to us about how things are going with oral care at home and if you need any suggestions or assistance. And, if you are overdue for your professional dental cleaning and oral examination, now is the time to request an appointment.