As much as we try and stay on top of our oral health, we all know someone who has been affected by painful and disruptive tooth issues, if not ourselves. Practicing good dental hygiene on a daily basis is one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay, otherwise known as dental cavities.
To combat the formation of bacteria in the mouth, make sure to thoroughly brush your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
Both manual and electric toothbrushes are up to the job, just remember to aim for at least two minutes of brushing, and don't forget to brush the rear of each tooth, and your tongue!
While regular brushing goes a long way to keeping a healthy mouth free of cavities, developing a consistent flossing routine can be just as important. Using dental floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, will ensure a plaque-free mouth with no stuck food particles which can lead to tooth damage.
Rinsing with mouthwash is amongst the easiest ways to prevent dental cavities, as it's often more convenient than brushing or flossing. Using a small amount of fluoride-containing mouthwash after lunch will remove any harmful food residue and can prevent unwanted bacteria from forming.
Dietary choices can have a large impact on the formation of cavities. Whatever you choose to eat, small particles can be left behind in your mouth, so avoiding certain foods can go a long way to helping maintain a healthy set of teeth.
Drinks such as fizzy drinks, juices, energy drinks, and teas can leave behind refined sugars which immediately go to work undoing even the most protected mouth. Opt for unsweetened tea or coffee, and choose fresh fruits and unrefined juices over their refined counterparts.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of dental health is hydration. Is your mouth dry throughout the day? Drinking enough water before you feel thirsty will ensure your mouth and gums maintain an environment which won't encourage cavity-developing bacteria to form.
Another preventative measure to protect against dental cavities are sealants. Because of the increased likelihood of cavities developing, sealants are most often utilised by children and teenagers. However, these small plastic covers are a relatively cheap way to look after your teeth, and are recommended by many dental insurance companies as protective measures for adults as well.
Chew sugar-free gum
Acids are produced in our mouths after eating meals and snacks. These acids exist to help us break down our foods, but unfortunately for us these acids can remain in our mouths for up to twenty minutes after eating, which can break down our tooth enamel.
Chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum after a meal helps the mouth to produce saliva which can help to neutralise those acids, thus saving our tooth enamel from erosion which could lead to decay. (according the this study)
We all lead increasingly busy lives, but making time for a quick dentist visit can often make all the difference by spotting tooth decay early on before a larger problem forms.
By partaking in all, or some, of the above you can lessen the chances of developing dental cavities.