Something all dentists have an uphill battle with is the rate at which our patients accumulate decay, aka cavities. It?s also probably one of your biggest fears when it comes to your dental health. No one likes going to the dentist and being told that they have a cavity, right? No one! Since cavities are such a huge problem and can effect your overall health and wellness, I wanted to review some things that you can do to help prevent cavities and any dental decay from forming. ?If some of these tips seem obvious to you, then so be it. . .but I want you to understand that these are the facts. ?So if you want teeth that are cavity free, then make sure to incorporate the 6 tips in this blog into your life!
If you don?t know exactly how you get cavities, let me fill you in on that first. A cavity is formed when an acidic environment is created in your mouth (pH level of 5.5 or lower) and bacteria starts to eat away at the enamel on your teeth. If the cavity is not taken care of, it can lead to more serious dental issues, and health issues, so I want to help you stop cavities before they even start.
So let’s go over these 6 steps (and don’t skip any)!
1 | Brush Your Teeth At Least?Twice Per Day
The first thing that you can do is to make sure that you?re brushing your teeth at least twice per day. It still sometimes amazes me because I see so many people that only brush their teeth once per day. Brushing your teeth is your first line of defense against getting cavities. It doesn’t matter how short you are on time or how much you have to do, you need to make sure that you?re brushing your teeth every single day, TWICE. You want to make sure you are brushing the front of your teeth, the sides of your teeth, and the back of your teeth very thoroughly. I like to say for a minimum of 2 minutes! If you?re not sure how to properly brush your teeth, check out this post. Also, something that comes with brushing your teeth is properly cleaning your tongue. So, make sure that you?re making that a priority as well.
2 | Floss On A Daily Basis
Okay, so here’s the thing. So many people skip this step. ?It’s true that if you’re not flossing your teeth you miss cleaning quite a bit of your tooth’s surface! Let me paint a picture for you. ?This is basically what happens when you don’t floss:
You eat, bacteria begins to eat the food you ate, then they release their waste onto your teeth (yes I know it’s gross, but it’s true), and the waste they produce is very acidic. ?So when you’re not cleaning your teeth, more bacteria accumulate, more waste is produced, and voila! A cavity forms! Over time, and by time it can be a few hours, it can be 1 day, it can be a few days (everyone is different, but you can see it doesn’t take too long), the plaque and bacteria that accumulate hardens on your teeth, and you can no longer remove it with floss and a toothbrush. ?You will have to see your dentist or hygienist to have the calcified plaque (aka calculus) removed. So the next time you feel like skipping this step, think of all the happy bacteria eating food on your teeth and excreting their waste right onto your teeth and gums!
You need to floss your teeth on a daily basis. Ideally, you want to make sure that you?re flossing at least twice a day, but if you’re only going to do it once, then do it at night!?
Additionally, your toothbrush can’t go underneath your gums and clean the way floss can. ?So flossing keeps your gums healthy, which will keep your underlying bone structure healthy, which will lead to you keep your teeth firmly planted into your jaw bone! So spend the extra minute or two to make sure you floss your teeth.
3 | Use A Mouthwash After Brushing
You also want to make sure that you?re using a mouthwash after brushing. Mouthwash helps to do one final cleaning of your mouth and helps remove anything that has been left behind. Basically it helps reduce the bacterial load in your mouth, and also helps clean your cheeks and your gums! It only takes 60-seconds but does such much to help you fight cavities. Get a good mouthwash to use after brushing and flossing your teeth. I like mouthwashes that are alcohol free and that have some type of remineralizing agents such as fluoride or xylitol in them!
4 | Drink A Lot More Water
Water is such an underrated way to keep your mouth clean and teeth free of cavities. When you don’t have access to a toothbrush, you can always take a couple of swishes of water and rinse out your mouth. No, it?s not as impactful as using a toothbrush, floss, or mouthwash, but it?s definitely a lot better than just letting food sit in your mouth causing damage to your teeth. After every meal or really anytime you eat anything, try to take the time to rinse out your mouth with water and remove any food/debris that you can.
5 | Visit The Dentist Regularly
You want to make sure that you?re visiting your dentist on a regular basis. Usually once a year for an exam and some check up X-rays (although everyone varies with this so talk to your dentist) and 2-4 times a year for cleanings (depending on what your dentist/hygienist recommend). I know that it can be hard to find the right dentist for you or even figure out how often you should be visiting your dentist but it?s important. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis means that you?re able to stop problems before they start, or if you already have the start of some problems, you will be able to stop them before they get too bad. It?s the best way to prevent cavities from forming, or from spreading further. If you haven?t seen your dentist recently, it’s definitely time to give them a call.
6 | Cut Back on Sugar
The final thing that I want to recommend is for you to try your hardest to?cut back on sugar (click here to watch my video on how you can cut sugar out of your diet). I know that a lot of the time this is easier said than done. But, sugar is one of the main things that leads to developing cavities and causing damage to your teeth. Think about the amount of sugar that you put into your foods, the snacks that you eat, and even the coffee that you drink. The problem is, there are a lot of hidden sugars, so sometimes you don’t even know you’re consuming it! If you watch the video I linked in this blog, you will learn about some of those hidden sugars! So, if you want to lower your risk of getting cavities you have to cut back on the amount of sugar that you consume.
I hope that these have got your brain thinking about the different things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting cavities. It is actually not that complicated. I think you are aware of the majority of these things but sometimes we all need a little reminder to get back on track.?
If you have any more questions, then make sure to?find me on Instagram and send me a message! I’d love to see you there!