5 Tips For Avoiding Dental Cavities

Tooth decay still affects most Americans even though techniques to preserve teeth have improved over the last several decades. What hasn’t changed are some of the more common steps that you need to take to keep teeth free from cavities. Tooth decay can affect the outer enamel as well as the dentin, or inner layers of teeth, and can eventually lead to tooth loss if left unchecked. Decay occurs when carbohydrates from sugars and starches remain and form acid-containing plaque that eats away at teeth.

Although these steps aren’t foolproof, the following five tips can significantly reduce your chance of getting cavities.

1. Maintain Good Daily Oral Hygiene

It goes without saying that the single most important task you can do to prevent cavities is to brush your teeth at least twice daily, preferably immediately after meals. If that is impossible, brush in the morning and before you go to sleep at night and make sure your brushing session lasts about two minutes, as overbrushing can also be a problem. Whenever you eat anything sticky or sweet such as candy, chocolate or dried fruit, try to brush your teeth or use an antiseptic mouth wash as soon as possible to minimize the effect of these foods.

2. Go Beyond Daily Brushing for Best Health

Brushing doesn’t reach all areas of the teeth. Floss twice a day to remove food particles between the teeth and to reach the 35% of tooth surfaces that brushing misses. If you have difficulty maintaining a regular schedule for brushing or flossing, consider getting a sonic toothbrush or similar appliance to help remove debris from your teeth as these devices can remove more plaque than manual brushing.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Although you can’t stay away from carbohydrates as they provide needed energy, limit their intake, particularly if you are prone to cavities. Starchy foods such as bread, pasta and crackers will allow the acid in your mouth to flourish, so make sure you perform good oral hygiene as soon as possible after eating these items. The frequency and duration and contact with the bacteria in your mouth should be minimized to avoid feeding your herd of bacteria.

4. Avoid Sugary Drinks

This tip is easy to forget as we often don’t think that liquids will leave anything behind, but they do. The sugary residue from sodas remains to harm teeth.

5. Get Regular Dental Visits

Have teeth cleaned at least twice per year, more if you are prone to cavities and make sure you have sealant applied for additional protection.