The following instructions for home care apply to patients who’s risk assessment has shown a extreme risk for future tooth decay. How you take care of your teeth at home can greatly impact your future success!
Be Proactive at Home to Lower your Risk Level
- For the first week of every month, rinse with a prescription strength antibacterial mouth rinse every morning and night and brush for two minutes, twice daily with over-the-counter fluoride toothpaste.
- For the remainder of the month, brush with a prescription toothpaste twice a day and rinse with an over-the-counter antibacterial fluoride mouth rinse every morning and night. Floss daily.
- Use Xylitol gum or mints according to the following schedule: 2 pieces mid-morning, 2 pieces early afternoon, 2 pieces late afternoon, and 2 pieces in the evening. Reduce the amount of sugary and carbohydraterich snacks you eat: candy, mints, cookies, juice, soda. Whenever possible, eat foods rich in protein, such as cheese and nuts.
- Consider using a baking soda rinse to neutralize acids. Use twice a day; after breakfast and after lunch. To make rinse: add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 8 oz of water. Additionally, use a saliva substitute to relieve symptoms of dry mouth.
Our Intervention Guide
The helpful guide below compares the different treatment recommendations for each tooth decay risk level. You are at the Extreme Risk level.
Likelihood of Getting a Cavity (by Risk Level)*
- Even patients at low risk for tooth decay have some chance of getting a cavity if they do not follow their treatment recommendations. However, they have the lowest risk of a cavity.
- Patients at moderate risk for tooth decay have 2x the likelihood of getting a cavity compared to patients at low risk.
- Patients at high risk for tooth decay have 3x the likelihood of getting a cavity compared to patients at low risk.
- Patients at extreme risk for tooth decay have 4x the likelihood of getting a cavity compared to patients at low risk.
*Domejean, White, and Featherstone, California Dental Association Journal, October 2011.