Cavities happen. Your teeth work hard every day and even if you are diligent about cleaning them, you can be susceptible to oral health problems and end up needing restorative dentistry. As you celebrate the 8 days of Christmas or Hanukkah and everything in between, remember that there are at least eight ways to prevent cavities, so you can have a jolly holiday.
Ways to Prevent Cavities
Some of the ways to prevent cavities is common sense, some of it may be a big surprise to you. Follow as many of these suggestions as possible and you’ll be in good oral health shape for 2020 and beyond.
- Brush your teeth. It’s simple. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Brush more if you want to, especially after eating something particularly sticky or chewy or that clings to your teeth.
- Floss your teeth. Flossing isn’t a step you can skip. It should be part of your daily oral health routine so you can get to the hard-to-reach places your toothbrush cannot access.
- Pay attention to the hard-to-reach-teeth. Back teeth are tougher to clean than smooth front teeth, even if you’re diligent about it, and molars have plenty of nooks and crannies perfect for collecting food particles.
- Keep your dental appointments. We know you’re busy but don’t be tempted to cancel your dental appointment until it’s more convenient. Adults are busy – it’ll never be completely convenient, but it’s imperative that you see your dentist every six months for a check-up and teeth cleaning, so your dentist can spot problems before they balloon and you can avoid decay, cavities, infections, and the discomfort that comes along with them, not to mention avoid the necessity for tooth-colored fillings or porcelain crowns.
- Skip the snacking and sipping. It may seem kind to your waistline to just have a little nibble here and there throughout the day instead of large snacks or meals, but this habit leaves your mouth exposed to acids all day long. It’s even worse if you sip on soda or other acidic drinks. Constant work means constant attack means a higher risk of cavities.
- Address dry mouth. Whether it’s your mouth’s natural state or a problem caused by illness or medication, dry mouth means your teeth aren’t getting rinsed by enough saliva and a dry area will eventually lead to an area that is ripe for developing decay. Gum with xylitol, chewed in moderation so you don’t disturb sealants or cosmetic or restorative dental treatments, can be one way to increase saliva production. But chewing gum and drinking water aren’t enough alone to combat this problem – always let your dentist know what’s going on.
- Watch your diet. If you’re big on sports drinks, energy drinks, chewy foods, dried fruit, soda, or hard candy, your teeth experience plentiful sugar baths every time. Plus, the sticky and clingy foods get stuck in the grooves of your teeth for longer than you can imagine.
- Eat healthy for your teeth. Some foods and drinks are healthier for your teeth than others. Fresh fruits and veggies can help increase saliva flow, and it’s always good to have natural saliva to rinse your teeth. Unsweetened beverages help wash away food particles.
A Happy Holiday for Your Teeth
If you have teeth, you can get cavities. Some circumstances make you far more susceptible to tooth decay, though, including heartburn, acid reflux, eating disorders, and aging dental work. Take care of yourself so you can enjoy every holiday with the ones you love and avoid oral health problems that require you to see your dentist more often than you’d like. Schedule your teeth cleaning and exam at Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Suwanee.