Q2. I am tired of having cavities every time I see my dentist for a checkup, what can I do?
Answer: Some people are more prone to have cavities than other people, so is the case for periodontal diseases (gum disease). . If you constantly develop new cavities, you must do something in addition to have your teeth filled all the time. You may have to modify your diet (such as decrease snacking, decrease high sugar-content drinks and foods). This is very difficult for many people. Another option is to have daily mouthrinse that contains the mineral fluoride mineral. You can ask the pharmacist in the drug store or your dentist to recommend it to you. I often put my “high-cavity-risk” patients to rinse their mouth 2 times a day with 0.12% chlorhexidine solution (which is an antibacterial mouthrinse) for 2 weeks, and then switch to daily fluoride rinse until the time for next checkup appointment. This group of patients also needs a more frequent recall appointment, say once every 6 months. If new cavity is detected, this fluoride rinse regime will continue until next checkup appointment; this will continue until there are no new cavities detected in a checkup appointment. Then, the patient can stop the fluoride rinse or go to a regime of once every week. Chlorhexidine solution has to be prescribed by your dentist while fluoride rinse is over-the-counter. Chewing gum containing Xylitol has been proven to be very effective at reducing cavities. Xylitol is known to be effective at reducing Strep Mutans, a bacteria species causes oral cavities. So try to chew two pieces of Xylitol gum for 10 minutes 3-4 times a day will help you fight cavities!