Dental cavities are caused by the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed, it can harden and turn into tartar, which can lead to gum disease. Plaque can also cause cavities.
Here are some tips to prevent cavities:
Table of Contents
- 1. Cut Out Sugary and Acidic Foods or Drinks
- 2. Watch What You Eat Before Bed time
- 3. Limit Sweet Snacks Between Meals
- 4. Eat a Healthy Diet
- 5. Chew Sugarless Gums
- 6. Stop Using Tobacco Products
- 7. Brush With Fluoride Toothpaste
- 8. Use a Mouth Rinse
- 9. Floss Daily
- 10. Get Dental Sealants
- 11. See Your Dentist Regularly
- 12. Consider Fluoride Treatments
- 13. Take Your Dentist Recommendation
1. Cut Out Sugary and Acidic Foods or Drinks
Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can damage your teeth. They can wear away the enamel, or hard outer coating, of your teeth. This can make your teeth more prone to cavities. To protect your teeth, limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, and brush your teeth soon after eating or drinking them.
Some foods and drinks that are high in sugar or acid include:
- fruit juice
- sports drinks
- coffee or tea (with added sugar)
While you may not be able to cut out all sugary and acidic foods from your diet, you can still enjoy them in moderation. Just be sure to brush your teeth afterwards to help protect your teeth.
2. Watch What You Eat Before Bed time
The foods you eat before bed can have an impact on your teeth. Eating sugary or acidic foods right before bed can increase your risk of cavities. This is because these foods can cause your mouth to produce more saliva, which can then lead to more plaque build-up on your teeth. So, if you are going to eat sugary or acidic foods before bed, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards.
In addition, avoid eating hard foods right before bed. Eating hard foods can damage your teeth and make them more susceptible to cavities. If you are going to eat hard foods, be sure to brush your teeth first so that you can remove any plaque that has built up on your teeth.
3. Limit Sweet Snacks Between Meals
If you snack often throughout the day, you’re exposing your teeth to more acid attacks.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is important for good oral health. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks.
5. Chew Sugarless Gums
Chewing sugarless gum can help to increase saliva flow. Saliva helps to wash away plaque and bacteria.
6. Stop Using Tobacco Products
Tobacco use can increase your risk for cavities and other oral health problems. If you use tobacco products, talk to your dentist about ways to quit.
7. Brush With Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent cavities. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel, or hard outer coating, of your teeth. This can help to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy.
8. Use a Mouth Rinse
Mouth rinses can help to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Look for a mouth rinse that contains fluoride.
9. Floss Daily
Flossing is an important part of oral care, yet many people do not do it regularly. Just as brushing your teeth helps remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, flossing helps remove plaque from in between your teeth and along the gumline – places where your toothbrush cannot reach. Plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar, which can lead to gum disease.
10. Get Dental Sealants
A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that bonds to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth — molars and premolars. Sealants protect these teeth from cavities by keeping food and plaque out of the grooves.
11. See Your Dentist Regularly
Even if you brush and floss regularly, it is still important to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. During a cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. They will also check for any signs of gum disease or other problems. Seeing your dentist regularly can help catch any problems early, before they become more serious.
12. Consider Fluoride Treatments
If you are at high risk for cavities, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments can help to prevent cavities.
13. Take Your Dentist Recommendation
If your dentist recommends that you use a special toothpaste or mouth rinse, be sure to follow his or her instructions. Using the wrong product can actually do more harm than good.