The following instructions for home care apply to patients who’s risk assessment has shown a high 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 night and brush for two minutes, twice a day with over-the-counter fluoride toothpaste.
- For the remainder of the month, brush with a prescription toothpaste twice a day. Floss daily and rinse with an over-the-counter antibacterial fluoride mouth rinse.
- Reduce the amount of sugary and carbohydrate-rich snacks you eat: candy, mints, cookies, juice, soda. Whenever possible, eat foods rich in protein, such as cheese and nuts. We also encourage you to use mints and gum that have been sweetened with xylitol – a natural sugar that helps fight bacteria.
- We will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your oral health, which may include x-rays. Your recommended cleaning frequency is related to your risk for gum disease and will depend on your gum disease risk diagnosis. Your dentist may adjust your individual recommendations based on your specific needs.
Our Intervention Guide
The helpful guide below compares the different treatment recommendations for each tooth decay risk level. You are at the High 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.