Cavities can be painful and can contribute to poor overall health, so it’s important that we do everything we can to prevent them. We will admit, it’s all too easy to forget when you’re busy, even for us! Skipping a tooth brushing every now and then seems like no big deal— it’s not like your teeth are going to fall out. While it may be true that your teeth won’t fall out any time soon, skipping out on good dental care habits, like brushing twice daily, can increase your risk for disease. Perhaps your teeth won’t fall out any time soon, but tooth decay and gum disease can occur with dental care neglect. You can prevent tooth decay and your risk of disease by adhering to basic standards of good dental care and visiting us here at Cadena Family Dentistry on a routine basis. In between visits, use our top five tips for cavity prevention:
- Brush regularly, brush properly. We have devoted entire blogs to the ways you should and should not brush, but let’s go over the basics. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes. Or, for improved care, brush after every meal and snack. If you are unable to brush after you eat, at least make an effort to carefully rinse your mouth with water.
- Use mouthwash. For added protection against tooth decay, use fluoride mouthwash twice daily after brushing. Some people have complained that mouthwash burns. In years past, it was common for mouth wash to have a high alcohol content that may have stung during use, but the mouthwashes of recent years are typically available in alcohol-free and/or no-sting formulas!
- Consider dental sealants. Come in for a consultation regarding whether or not you are a good candidate for dental sealants. This procedure can help to seal off grooves and nooks and crannies where food can become easily trapped. This will help in preventing tooth decay and other dental issues. Plus, sealants can last up to ten years with good dental care.
- Drink some tap water. We know, it’s been drilled into a lot of peoples minds that tap water is unhealthy and filled with all sorts of contaminants, but for most of you that is just not the case. Most cities have added fluoride to their public water supply, making it a worthy treatment for preventing tooth decay. Not only does tap water help to re-mineralize the teeth, but drinking water in general promotes saliva production to help rinse away harmful bacteria. Try to mix in some tap water, if you exclusively drink bottled water, to help protect your teeth.
- Eat tooth-healthy foods. Believe it or not, there are foods that are good for your teeth. Much like a heart-healthy diet reduces your risk of heart disease, certain foods can protect your pearly whites. Foods that protect your teeth include cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum. Each of these foods has specific properties that make them good for your smile. Try avoiding foods that are high in sugars or that can deposit stains onto the teeth such as red wines, sugared coffee, red fruit punches, etc.