It may be common knowledge that if you want to prevent tooth cavities you should brush your teeth, floss, and see your dentist for check-ups regularly. However, even those who follow good dental hygiene practices are prone to the occasional cavity. If you are looking for a few ways to prevent cavities, there are a few creative practices that will keep the cavities at bay.
It’s often recommended to drink water after eating in order to reduce food build-up, but if you enjoy drinking tea, you can achieve a similar effect. A study conducted by the University of Illinois’ College of Dentistry showed that rinsing with black tea reduces bacteria growth, which keeps it from producing the acid that breaks down enamel and causes cavities. Plus, tea contains healthy antioxidants, and plenty of other health benefits for the body.
Use a Straw
Let’s face it: no matter how many times you try, it can be difficult to completely swear off your favorite soda or sugary drink. While constant soda consumption does not bode well for cavity prevention, there is a method for protecting your teeth from excessive exposure to sugar. A study by Temple University in Philadelphia suggests that you can minimize damage to your teeth by using a straw. Don’t use this as a free pass to drink all the soda you want though, because all that acidic liquid is still bad for your teeth. The straw will help save your teeth from constant sugar exposure, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue in your efforts to cut back on soda overall.
Many people see gum as candy, yet there are plenty sugar free gum brands that are a great alternative to bubble gum and sugary snacks. Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute found in many sugar free gums and candies. It neutralizes acids, and promotes saliva production, which removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from your teeth. Not only will sugar free gum provide you with a healthier alternative, but it will clean your mouth as you chew!
Rinse with Fluoride Mouthwash
While some people have weaker tooth enamel because of genetics, acidic foods can weaken enamel as well. In either case, fluoride mouthwash may be the answer for those with weak enamel. It strengthens the enamel on your teeth and helps prevent cavities from forming. Signs of weak tooth enamel include yellow or transparent teeth, tooth sensitivity, or dents/cracks in the tooth.
Get Your Calcium
Many people know that calcium leads to stronger bones, but that goes for your teeth as well. Consuming calcium through your food is a great way to protect against tooth decay. The casein in cheese, in particular, raises calcium levels in the saliva, which helps to re-mineralize your teeth (i.e. return minerals to the molecular structure of the teeth).
Try Oil Pulling
An ancient folk remedy that originated in India, oil pulling is basically swishing oil around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Typically sources suggest using sesame or sunflower oil, though some suggest coconut oil (the latest popular cure-all). While there are still many skeptics, oil pullers claim that the practice helps to eliminate extra bacteria and plaque in the mouth.
Whatever method you choose, it is important to stick to a routine that will protect your teeth from cavity formation. Neglecting your teeth can lead to painful conditions and expensive procedures so, as always, it is best to be proactive. Brushing and flossing isn’t enough to protect you from dental problems, so take responsibility for your oral care to avoid painful issues in the future. The information for this article was provided by Dr. Murray Knebel who specializes in teeth cleaning in Calgary.