Five Ways to Prevent Cavities
At Newman Springs Dental Care in Lincroft, NJ, we take great pride in offering exceptional Preventative Dentistry services. These services keep your smile looking great, and save you the time and expense of more involved, and complicated dental procedures. (Although we’re great at those too!)
But one of the most important steps in Preventative Dentistry is educating our patients about avoiding tooth decay. Cavities are one of the most common forms of tooth decay, and happen to kids and adults alike. For that reason, we’re going to share a few tips to help you avoid cavities.
Tip #1: Brush With Fluoride Toothpaste
You probably already brush when you wake up and before you go to bed. But do you know what’s in your toothpaste? Many inexpensive toothpastes are filled with fluoride, and make a great addition to your daily routine. Fluoride strengthens your teeth’s enamel, which is your first line of defense against cavities.
But quickly brushing your teeth as an afterthought in the morning is not enough. The ingredients in toothpaste are powerful; but it can take some time for them to have their full effect. Therefore it’s very important that you spend at least two to three minutes brushing at a time.
Tip #2: Actually Floss Everyday
A recent university study showed that one of the most common white lies adults tell, is that they floss everyday. But brushing alone misses the surfaces in between your teeth; these surfaces are a virtual breeding ground for tooth decay causing bacteria.
A good practice is for adults to floss at the same time as their children. This instills the importance of the act in children, and helps adults to remember to do it as well. At minimum, you should floss once every night before bed.
If you find that flossing is difficult or awkward, consider purchasing a floss pick. They are inexpensive and easy to use. If you find it painful to floss, please contact our office because you could be suffering from Gum Disease.
Tip #3: Eat a Fiber Rich Diet
After you’ve finished eating, food remains on your teeth. These microscopic particles nest in all the pits, ridges, and grooves of your teeth. The longer they remain there, the more bacteria they attract. This bacteria eventually turns into an acidic film of plaque. This plaque chews holes through the outer enamel of your teeth.
Saliva is one of your best natural defenses against cavities, because it helps wash food particles and bacteria out of your mouth. Foods rich in fiber increase your mouth’s natural production of saliva; this makes fiber a sort of superhero in your battle against tooth decay.
The good news is that it’s easy to maintain a fiber rich diet. Delicious fruits like apples and pears are filled with fiber. You can also throw kale and spinach into your salad to get more fiber. Perhaps the easiest way to increase your fiber intake is to switch to whole grain breads and pasta.
Tip #4: Choose Your Candy Carefully
Candy has a reputation for causing cavities; but some candy is more destructive to your teeth than other options. Candy that sticks to your teeth when you chew it is particularly destructive. Candies like gummy worms, salt-water taffy, caramel, and even certain hard candies all cling to your teeth. Even if you rinse your mouth after enjoying them, sugar-filled particles can remain hidden deep in the crevices of your teeth. The sugar attracts bacteria, and the bacteria causes decay.
But you still have options for enjoying a nice treat. Dark chocolate has actually been shown to have several positive health benefits; one of which is that it increases the saliva flow in your mouth. Chewing sugarfree gum can also be a tasty way to fight tooth decay, as it can help wash bacteria out of your mouth.
Tip #5: Get Your Teeth Cleaned
When plaque and bacteria build-up in your mouth, it eventually hardens into tartar. Tartar is a stubborn beast, and one that cannot be removed with a professional teeth cleaning. During a routine appointment, we’ll clean plaque and tartar off your teeth. We also examine your mouth for signs of decay, and potential cavities.
Cavities really can happen to anyone, not just kids. As adults grow older, their gums recede a bit. This exposes more of the surface area of their teeth to plaque, putting them at risk for cavities. At Newman Springs Dental Care in Lincroft, NJ, we want to keep your teeth healthy and free from cavities. Click here to schedule an appointment.