Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings: the holy trinity of cavity prevention. These essential dental hygiene practices constitute our first line of defense against cavities. But is that all we can do to keep our teeth healthy and cavity-free? Certainly not! There are plenty of other ways to stave off cavity formation, some of which might surprise you.
Drink Through a Straw
When you sip sugary drinks through a straw, you reduce the amount of liquid that comes in contact with your teeth. Of course the best option would be to cut out sugary drinks altogether, but if you still enjoy the occasional soda just be sure to drink it through a straw.
Chew (Sugar Free) Gum
These days, many sugar free gums use a natural sweetener called xylitol as an alternative to conventional sugar. Because xylitol cannot be metabolized by the bacteria in your mouth, it reduces the lactic acid buildup on teeth that causes cavities. Chewing gum also increases saliva production which aids in cavity prevention. A name-brand Xylitol gum is designed specifically to aid in cavity prevention. Chew a little Xylitol gum every day and get one step closer to a cavity-free mouth.
A protein in cheese called casein is believed to promote higher calcium levels in teeth, thereby preventing cavity development. The lactose in cheese also combats the corrosive effects of acidic foods on your teeth. Just be sure you’re eating real cheese rather than dairy-free alternatives.
This is an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which vegetable oils are used to cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria. Many people favor coconut oil for its antibacterial properties, but you can also use other oils such as sesame or sunflower. All you have to do is swish a spoonful of the oil in your mouth for about 15 minutes each day. There’s still some debate in the scientific community as to the effectiveness of oil pulling, but many people swear by the practice.
Mind Your Minerals
Nutrition is another important, but often neglected element of dental hygiene. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus all contribute to healthy teeth, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K. If you find you’re not getting enough of any of these valuable vitamins and minerals, consider taking a daily supplement
Drink More Water
As if you needed one more reason to stay hydrated. Water rinses your teeth and promotes increase saliva production; two important components of cavity prevention. Drink water with every meal and you can significantly reduce your chances of getting cavities.
At Modern Family Dental, we offer a vast menu of dental services in the Charlotte area. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our dentist offices in Concord and Charlotte, contact us today!