How To Stop Getting Cavities For Good!

This is the the most important advice I can possibly give you as a dental professional, all distilled into one place. If you thoroughly take this to heart, I guarantee you that no matter how many dental problems you have had in the past, you will have few to none in the future.

  1. Clean every surface of every tooth thoroughly twice a day. Spend at least 2 minutes brushing and two minutes flossing. Look for videos on youtube for correct techniques. Here are a couple:
  2. Ask your dental professionals to give you feedback to see if you are cleaning your mouth effectively. Disclosing tablets which you chew on and stain your plaque pink can be an effective tool for assessing your oral hygiene skills.
  3. Drink water- it’s the only thing that humans and any other mammals are really built to drink. Don’t drink soda, juice, sports drinks, energy drinks etc. Especially, DO NOT SIP any drink other than water over time. This vastly increases the amount of damage to your teeth as you have acid exposure over extended periods of time. The worst drinks are those with citric acid in them: sports drinks such as Gatorade, fruit juices, and sodas such as Mountain Dew and Sprite.
  4. Avoid foods which make your mouth feel like it’s full of gunk- cookies, candy bars, pretzels, crackers etc. Yes, even savory snacks can give you cavities. How? Well, flour is basically starch, which is a just a long chain of sugar molecules. When this chain of sugar molecules sits in your mouth, enzymes in your saliva start breaking it down into individual sugars. What you you effectively get is time-release food for the bacteria that cause cavities. Good for them, bad for you.
  5. Take a clear, thorough look at everything you put in your mouth and ask yourself “does this have sugar or flour in it?”. What you are really asking yourself is “can this contribute to my tooth decay?” Remember the less obvious things like chewing gum, mints, granola bars, breakfast cereal, sweet sauces, crackers and chips. Count how many times a day you say yes to this question. Lower that number!
  6. If advised by your dentist, use a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste at night. Fluoride replaces some of the minerals in the surface of your teeth and literally makes your teeth harder and more resistant to dissolving when exposed to acids. There are other products available which can help- ask your dentist which ones are right for you.
  7. Get rid of your cavities. Each cavity is a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause tooth decay- your risk of getting new cavities is way higher while you have even one untreated cavity in your mouth.
  8. Avoid things which make your mouth dry- your saliva is of paramount importance in keeping your teeth healthy. People who lose all of their saliva, such as cancer patients who have extensive head and neck radiation, can go from having perfect teeth to black stumps in two months. Anything which reduces your saliva reduces your body’s natural defenses against tooth decay. Examples: alcohol, some illicit drugs, and many common prescription drugs. If a prescription drug you take causes your mouth to be dry, ask your doctor if you can try an alternative.
  9. Some evidence suggests that adequate vitamin and mineral intake is important for tooth decay. Vitamin D seems to play a role in the mineral balance in your bones and teeth, and many people are deficient. Your doctor can order a blood test to see if your vitamin D levels are low.
  10. See your dentist! Sometimes your natural teeth or dental materials can start to break down in some way without you noticing. If this happens, crevices can form that trap food and bacteria. This WILL lead to cavities even if you follow every single one of the other things I have listed. You cannot possibly clean out tiny crevices in your teeth with a toothbrush and floss, and you cannot eliminate allcarbohydrates from your diet. It is our job to notice things before they become (painfully) obvious to you- helping your mouth be its healthiest. Together, we can help you have a healthy mouth for life!

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