Tired of getting cavities and fillings in your teeth? Interested in preventing cavities? Keeping your teeth healthy doesn't mean only brushing and flossing. By following these five tips, you can manage risk factors that cause cavities.
1. Reduce acid exposure on your teeth. - Tooth enamel is damaged when it comes into contact with acids. Enamel is highly mineralized and is made to protect your tooth, but when weakened by acids, the tooth becomes susceptible to cavities and decay. Acids can come from a number of sources. Acids in our diet include sugary drinks (e.g. sodas, pop, juice, frappucinos) and sugary foods (e.g. toffee, citrus fruits, sour candies, baked goods). Acids not from our diet can be from gastric reflux or bulimia. Mouth acidity can be reduced by using antacid tablets, baking soda solutions, fluoride rinses, or hard cheeses. Minimizing acids can prevent damage to your enamel and keep your teeth strong and healthy.
2. Use the right toothpaste and toothbrush at the right time. - Avoid brushing immediately after an acidic substance has been on the teeth because that is when the enamel is weakest. Brushing your teeth should strengthen the tooth enamel and not weaken it. Fluoridated toothpaste will strengthen your enamel and inhibit the bad bacteria that cause cavities. A toothbrush and toothpaste also should be gentle with low abrasiveness.
3. Use the right mouth rinse, not just one that makes your breath feel fresh. - The right mouth rinse should meet the following criteria: (1) kill the bacteria that cause cavities; (2) reverse acidity; (3) contain fluoride for tooth strength; (4) stimulate saliva flow for its acid buffering effect.
4. Incorporate xylitol into your oral hygiene routine. - Xylitol is a safe and natural sugar that tastes sweet and prevents cavities. It is different than table sugar so the cavity-causing bacteria cannot process it the same way. It is actually antibacterial against the cavity-causing bacteria. Xylitol also stimulates saliva which is especially helpful for people suffering from dry mouth. Xylitol is safe to ingest and can be used in drinks or food. At Orchards Dental, we even offer xylitol to sweeten your coffee!
5. Eliminate deep grooves. - Deep tooth anatomy can make your teeth susceptible to getting cavities. Toothbrush bristles may not be able to clean out deep pits or grooves in your teeth, especially the back molars. Sealants or preventative fillings can be placed in your teeth to fill the deep pits or grooves and prevent bacteria or plaque from getting in and causing a cavity.
Keeping your teeth healthy is much more than just brushing and flossing. At Orchards Dental, we will determine cavity prevention strategies that are right for your teeth. Book a check-up today to receive a personalized cavity assessment.