Let’s face it, nobody wants to get a cavity. Tooth decay can be painful, expensive and can even result in further dental and mouth problems such as abscesses and gum disease which require much more complex treatment.
However, there are some ways that you can help look after your teeth and set. Here are our 10 great tips for cavity prevention.
Yes, it may be obvious, but brushing really is the very best way that you can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition. Adults should choose a toothbrush with medium to firm bristles. Smaller, round heads are better as they allow you to get into all the hard-to-reach places. Make sure you brush at least twice a day, and if you can, after you have eaten lunch too. We always keep a toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste in our bag!
Use the right toothpaste
There are lots of different kinds of toothpaste on the market and with each promising different benefits, it’s easy to get confused with what is best for your oral care. You should make sure that you used fluoride-based toothpaste. Fluoride is a natural mineral that can strengthen teeth and help to prevent tooth decay. Adults should ensure that they use toothpaste with at least 1000ppm fluoride – you can check the box for this information. If you have particularly weak teeth then your dentist may suggest a high-fluoride toothpaste as an alternative, to help build up their strength even more. Children can have fluoride-based toothpaste as soon as they are old enough to spit it out, as ingesting it can lead to fluorosis which causes discoloration of the teeth.
Use mouthwash and floss every day
Mouthwash and floss can help remove microscopic bacteria in places that even the most thorough brushing still might miss. You should ideally use mouthwash every time you brush your teeth and floss daily before bed.
Visit your dentist regularly
Again, this may seem obvious, but in fact many people go lengthy periods of time without visiting their dentist because they assume that not being in any pain means everything is ok. Actually, regular trips to the dentist can catch potential problems before they become big, painful and expensive ones. Your dentist can also provide a thorough cleaning using specialized equipment that will help to retain your beautiful smile. Most dentists recommend a check-up, cleaning and polish every 6 months.
Ask your dentist about sealants
Dental sealants are plastic coatings that are placed on the chewing surface of your back teeth to help prevent them from decaying. They cover the fissures that are more vulnerable to bacteria and harder to clean and instead provide a smooth surface that is simpler and easier to brush. If looked after, dental sealants could last you many years – a great investment for long-term oral health!
Drink plenty of water
It may sound like a cliché, but water really is the very best thing to drink for the health of your body and your teeth! Most cities now have added fluoride in their water supply, which as we know is vital to building strong teeth. Tap water also helps to supply the mouth and teeth with other useful minerals, flush away bad bacteria and keep the inside of your mouth healthy and hydrated. Water is also sugar-free, meaning that you can drink as much as you like without it damaging your teeth!
Chew sugarless chewing gum
According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize and wash away any bacteria or food particles left on your teeth after a meal. It gives you nice breath too!
Eat smile-happy foods
Yes, that’s right, some foods are actually good for your teeth. These include cheese, vegetables, fresh fruit, unsweetened coffee and even unsweetened tea. Each has specific properties that make them beneficial to your smile.
Cut back on the sugar
It comes as no surprise that sugar is ultra-bad news for your teeth. Candy, cakes, tinned fruit, sweeteners, fizzy drinks, alcohol, fruit juices and processed foods contain heaps of sugars that are bad for your body and your teeth. Try and limit how much refined sugar you consume for the best chance of limiting cavities, and make sure you brush your teeth afterward!
We all know that smoking is bad for your health, but it is also incredibly bad for your teeth and gums. It can cause staining in a very short amount of time, as well as bad breath, gum disease, decay, infection, tooth loss and in some cases even cancer. Your gums are particularly at risk as smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream so that infected gums struggle to heal.