Here are a few techniques to prevent cavities and decay in your teeth and keep your teeth clean and healthy. Dental decay or cavities cause an array of dental problems starting from a toothache, sensitivity, restorative works, or root canal treatment.
Follow the tips below to keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free:
- Proper oral hygiene routine
Proper and regular brushing and flossing techniques help remove everyday plaque, bacteria, and calculus from your teeth, tongue, and gums. If plaque and food particles are left on and in-between teeth, bacteria will slowly start causing decay to the tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay or cavities. Proper technique of brushing and flossing is important to remove the plaque from teeth. Brushing twice a day with a soft bristle brush at a 45-degree angle for 2 minutes each and flossing at least once a day should be part of the daily routine.
2. Use fluoride toothpaste
Toothpaste containing fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for kids and adults over the age of 6 Fluoride helps teeth in two ways: when children drink or eat fluoride in small doses, it enters the bloodstream and becomes part of their developing permanent teeth. In addition, when we use fluoridated toothpaste or fluoride treatment from the dentist, it helps to speed remineralization and disrupt the production of acids by bacteria. Always wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after meals, this gives tooth enamel time to recover from the acidity in meals and drinks.
3. Reduce your sugar intake
As we all know, eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay. There is a constant battle going on in the mouth where teeth are frequently under attack by acids. Bacteria feed on sugars you eat to create acids that destroy tooth enamel. Enamel is a shiny protective outer layer of the tooth, once the decay is through this harder shell, it spreads quickly into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and sensitivity.
By reducing sugar intake, we can limit the food supply to the bacteria which means teeth are protected from the acids produced by bacteria. Sugars include natural and refined sugars.
4. Eat fresh foods high in minerals
Consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods promotes healthy teeth and gums. A balanced diet, a combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, protein foods, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods is essential for optimum oral health. Due to the porous nature of our teeth, teeth continuously lose and gain minerals, we need to make sure our teeth gain an optimum supply of minerals.
5. Stay hydrated, avoid sweet acidic drinks
Drinking water with fluoride is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways to prevent cavities. Water helps promote saliva production which washes away bacteria, leftover food and dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria. Drinking water also prevents dry mouth. Consuming juice, acidic drinks, soda or sports drinks can leave you with unwanted sugars and acids on your teeth. Avoid sipping on lemon water, instead, use a straw or after drinking wash your mouth with water.
6. Chew sugar-free gum
Sugar-free gum helps to promote saliva production which washes away food particles and bacteria from your mouth and teeth. If you chew sugarless gum after eating, the increased saliva flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in your plaque. Increased saliva flow also provides calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel.
7. Fissure sealants
Ask your dentist about dental or fissure sealants, they are plastic coatings that are placed on the chewing surface of your molar teeth. Fissures are the little grooves in your molar teeth, if these fissures are too deep or narrow, plaque or bacteria build can cause cavities. Fissure sealants help protect the chewing surfaces from getting decay. Mostly, fissure sealants are placed in kids’ teeth but if adults are at risk of decay or cavities, a Dentist will place fissure sealants to save the tooth from decay.