If you are waiting to have your cavities filled by your dentist, you may wonder if there is anything you can do at home to keep them from becoming larger before your procedure. If so, use the following three-step home treatment to clean the plaque and bacteria out of your teeth that cause cavities, as well as temporarily fill the holes.

Step 1:  Treat Your Teeth With A Homemade Paste

The first part of your home treatment is to apply a homemade paste to the affected tooth. The paste's ingredients include baking soda that neutralizes the acids which cause plaque. It also provides a mild abrasive that gently scrapes away food particles and any loosened plaque.

The paste is also made with peppermint oil, which can be found in most pharmacies, supermarkets and department stores. The oil serves as an antiseptic to kill any germs around the cavity. It can also help relieve any pain caused by the cavity.

To make the paste, mix together a half of a teaspoon of baking soda with four drops of peppermint oil. Using a cotton swab, apply it directly to your tooth, and leave it on for about a minute. Rinse your mouth with warm water, then go on to the second step.

Step 2:  Rinse With Salt And Peppermint Oil Mouthwash

The next step is to rinse with a homemade mouthwash made with warm water, salt and peppermint oil. The salt provides a deep cleaning agent to the mixture, as it serves as an antibacterial that removes germs stuck on the surface of the enamel and outer layer of plaque.

To make the mouthwash, pour a half of a cup of warm tap water into a glass or cup. Add three tablespoons of table salt, and let the salt dissolve for about 10 minutes. Once the salt has dissolved, add five drops of peppermint oil, and stir vigorously.

Use half of the solution to rinse your mouth for one minute, concentrating on the area of your affected tooth. This first rinse helps break up the plaque and residual food.

Spit out the first half of the mouthwash, then rinse your mouth with the remaining liquid for an additional minute. This second rinsing helps remove the substances broken loose in the first rinsing.

Spit out the second half of the mouthwash. Then, go on to the third step.

Step 3:  Apply Dental Wax Over The Cavities

Now that you have thoroughly cleansed the area around the cavity, the third step helps you protect it from food and bacteria by applying dental wax directly over the hole. You can find a small tin of the wax in the dental care section in pharmacies and department stores.

To apply the dental wax, remove a small amount from the can, then roll it between your thumb and index finger until it forms a small ball. Using your fingertip, place it on top of the cavity, pushing gently so that some of the wax fills the gap.

Once you have the wax in place, carefully push the ball until it is flat against your tooth. Then, smooth out the edges.

The wax should stay in place until your next treatment. However, you will need to remove it before going through these steps again. To remove it, use your fingernail or a toothbrush to pry it off of the tooth.

Using the above treatment twice a day until you get your fillings can keep the cavities clean and protected. However, if you start to have sudden symptoms such as sharp pain in your tooth, you may want to contact a family dentist, such as Hoffman & Karl Dental Associates, PLLC, to set up an appointment as soon as possible to have it examined and possibly filled sooner.