By Holly Landis
Written for Sullivan Family Dental, Freelance Work
Article also featured here.
It’s Friday evening. You’ve decided to indulge yourself in a stay-at-home movie night. You buy a large amount of food to snack on during your film. As you start to crunch on your popcorn, you feel a pain and decide to plan a visit the dentist to check it out. After your dental appointment, you are told that acid has attacked your tooth’s enamel and left a hole in your tooth, resulting in a cavity.
Cavities can be pretty inconvenient, and at times, painful. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to possibly stop these holes from forming:
1. Maintain a Smart Diet
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a guilty pleasure snack, but try to limit the amount of foods you eat that are rich in carbohydrates and sugars. These can attack your enamel and lead to decay in your teeth. Fun fact: Studies have proven that cheese is one of the best foods for stronger teeth!
2. Use Products Containing Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that works to prevent tooth decay from forming and helps to strengthen enamel. Strong enamel equals stronger teeth and fewer cavities. In order to make sure there is enough flouride in your life and your mouth, double check labels on toothpaste, mouth rinse, and any other dental products you choose to use. A lot of water systems contain flouride in their tap water as well, so drinking more tap water may also result in healthier teeth.
3. Keep a Consistent Oral Hygiene Schedule
Be sure to gently brush your teeth twice a day two minutes each time and floss at least once a day. We all have our cheat days when life gets busy and we can’t find the time to keep up with a proper daily brush routine. If you’re in a situation where you’re not able to fully brush your teeth, at least try to rinse your mouth with water so the bacteria from foods and drinks don’t sit on your tooth and form acid and decay.
4. Produce Saliva by Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
It may seem weird, but saliva actually helps your dental health since it washes away bacteria. If you don’t experience jaw pain, chewing on sugar-free gum is a good way to stimulate saliva production, but be sure to chew gum with xylitol. Xylitol is an sugarless sweetener that helps strengthen teeth and enamel, while sugared gums actually end up doing more harm than good.
5. Attend Biannual Dental Check-Ups
Another fairly simple way to avoid cavities is to visit Dr. Sullivan every 6 months for a dental checkup.
All humans are different, so all mouths are different. Be sure to contact our team to learn about your cavity risk level and what more you can do to keep your mouth healthy and prevent tooth decay.