Preventing cavities is essential to maintaining your overall health. Not only can cavities lead to tooth decay, but they can also result in expensive dental bills. Approximately 25 percent of adults in the United States have cavities. This isn’t a surprising statistic considering the number of sodas and sweet treats that Americans consume daily.
The good news is maintaining a healthy smile has never been easier. If your goal is to reduce your chances of getting cavities and protect your pearly whites, you must take consistent action. Here are 5 smart ways to keep cavities away.
Brush and floss your teeth daily.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but brushing and flossing your teeth are the best actions that you can take to reduce your risk of getting cavities. Although it seems like a small thing to do, you shouldn’t take this action for granted. There are several benefits of brushing your teeth regularly. Brushing your teeth can eliminate bacteria. (Fun fact: Your mouth contains over a billion microbes.)
Another benefit is brushing your teeth will keep your breath fresh. When your breath is free from foul odors, you can speak confidently with your friends, family members and colleagues.
When you brush your teeth, you should practice good techniques and habits. Apply the following techniques to maximize the effectiveness of this activity.
- Use a brush that has soft bristles.
- Replace your toothbrush every 90 days.
- Remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria.
- Brush your teeth using gentle motions for at least 2 minutes.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day – in the morning and before bed. After you brush your teeth, rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash. In addition to brushing your teeth, you should floss them. Flossing your teeth removes food particles that get caught between your teeth.
Schedule dental exams with your dentist.
Going to the dentist should be an integral part of your health maintenance plan. Scheduling routine dental exams is the best thing you can do to maintain oral health.
At Newnham Family Dental, they recommend that their patients schedule dental exams at our office twice a year. During your examination appointment, they’ll professionally clean your teeth, conduct a visual examination of your mouth and take x-rays. Conducting dental exams allows them to detect dental problems before they develop into serious concerns. Scheduling a dental exam at the office is a smart way to keep cavities away.
Eat healthy foods and drink healthy beverages.
Although desserts and sodas can satisfy your palate, they aren’t good for your body or your teeth. Instead of indulging in sweet treats and unhealthy foods regularly, fill your plate with foods that promote oral health. These foods include:
- Leafy green vegetables
It’s okay to indulge in some of your favorite sweet treats once in a while. However, you should make every effort to consume desserts and sodas on special occasions.
Stop smoking and using tobacco products.
Tobacco products contain ingredients that can destroy your oral health over time. Contrary to the advertisements for tobacco products that you hear on the radio, there is no safe form of tobacco usage. Vaping is just as harmful to your oral health as smoking cigarettes. Chewing tobacco isn’t healthier than smoking a cigar. Tobacco products contain at least 60 cancer-causing substances. These ingredients include nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, ammonia, acetone, toluene, pesticides, methanol, and methylamine. Here is a list of ways that using tobacco products can damage your oral health. Tobacco products:
- Cause bad breath
- Promote the formation of cavities and tooth decay.
- Increase the buildup of tartar and plaque.
- Cause salivary gland inflammation.
- Damage jaw bone and contributes to bone loss.
- Reduce the effectiveness of dental implant procedures.
- Cause oral cancer.
It’s difficult to maintain optimum oral health and consume tobacco products. Whether you brush your teeth twice a day or visit your dentist regularly, consuming tobacco products can negate the positive effects of these habits.
Drink lots of water.
Drinking water provides a healthy way for you to hydrate your body. From your cells to your organs, every system in your body functions more effectively when you are properly hydrated. Did you know that drinking water can promote a healthy smile and keep cavities away? That’s right. There are a few things that drinking water can do for your oral health. Water gets rid of the food that’s left over after a meal. Unlike sugary drinks such as soda and juice, water rinses your mouth without depositing chemicals and sugars.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Dental Association (ADA), water that contains fluoride can strengthen your teeth. When consumed in the healthy amounts, fluoride can prevent and fight cavities. Water promotes the production of saliva. Without a healthy amount of saliva, your mouth will become dry. A dry mouth contributes to the formation of cavities.
As you can see, drinking water is a healthy and inexpensive way to stop cavities in their tracks. For good health, be sure to drink at least 8 ounces of water each day. Your mouth will thank you for it.
When it comes to keeping cavities away, the power is in your hands. By following these smart tips and taking consistent action, you can drastically reduce your chances of getting cavities.
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