If you’ve ever had a cavity before, you know they can be quite painful! Luckily, there are quite a few ways to prevent them from happening in the future. Just follow these ten easy steps to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free!
1. Brush diligently!
One of the most important things you can do to prevent cavities is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. This helps you to get rid of plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. Simply use a soft bristled toothbrush to scrub each individual tooth in a circular motion. Don’t forget to get those hard to reach places toward the back of your mouth and behind your front teeth, as that is where harmful plaque can hide and do the most damage.
2. When you can’t brush, rinse.
It’s not always easy to run to a sink to brush your teeth after every meal. However, if food debris is left on your teeth, it can gradually feed the plaque that releases harmful acids on the surface of your enamel. Therefore, try to at least rinse your mouth out after meals to clear your mouth of debris.
3. Floss daily.
While flossing may be considered one of the more tedious elements of a oral healthcare routine, it is also one of the most important! Flossing allows you to remove food debris and plaque from hard to reach places that the toothbrush can’t access. Be sure to floss at least once a night to protect the spaces between the teeth from cavities.
4. Eat tooth-friendly foods!
Surprisingly, there are certain foods that can help prevent cavities from forming on your teeth. For starters, crunchy fruits and vegetables are great for your teeth as they scrub the surfaces of your teeth as you chew. You can also eat cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products which contain lactic acid and calcium to fortify your dental enamel and prevent decay.
5. Avoid sugar.
Sugar really does “rot your teeth!” The sugar in your sports drinks, soda, candy, even fruit juices feeds the bacteria in plaque, which in turn then release harmful acids onto your teeth. Try swapping these sugary foods for the healthy alternatives mentioned above!
6. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Drinking water is good for your health for a number of reasons. For starters, water helps to wash away the food debris, bacteria, and harmful acids that stick to your teeth and cause cavities. Also, the fluoride in your drinking water fortifies your dental enamel, making it less susceptible to decay. Therefore, be sure to get your daily recommended amount of water to protect your teeth.
7. Avoid snacking throughout the day.
Each time you eat, the sugars in your food feed the bacteria in plaque. Then, about 20 minutes after your meal, the bacteria in plaque excrete acids that wreak havoc on your dental enamel. If you eat only three big meals a day, it is easy to quickly brush or rinse away the plaque on your teeth to prevent this process. However, if you continuously snack, this bacteria will slowly excrete acids throughout the day, ultimately causing more harm to your teeth.
8. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash.
While mouthwash is not intended to be used as your sole method of dental care, it is a great supplement to any oral healthcare regimen. Not only does mouthwash reach the places that your brushing and flossing may have missed, but it also does a stellar job at killing plaque and bacteria that lead to cavities.
9. Quit smoking.
Smoking can have a negative impact on many aspects of your health, including the strength of your teeth! Tobacco products can lead to an increase in plaque and tartar, which in turn can lead to more dental decay. Ultimately, by quitting smoking, you can prevent disease and improve the health of your teeth and gums.
10. Visit our office for your regular check-up!
According to the CDC, 23.7% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have untreated cavities. It is important to get these cavities treated as soon as possible! Therefore, be sure to schedule your regular appointment with the dentist every six months. This will allow you to receive treatment for your existing cavities, as well as prevent any cavities from occurring down the road.
To schedule your biannual dental check-up, call Olympia Fields Dental Associates in Olympia Fields today!