When we think about our oral health, cavities are among the highest concerns. There’s a lot more that can go wrong if you’re not taking care of your teeth, from gum disease to heart problems, but cavities are the most obvious and frequently talked about problem. We’re going to give you tips to help avoid cavities – a lot of these are pretty obvious, but they’re worth reviewing:
Brush Your Teeth
Cavities form when bacteria secrete acid that eats into your teeth (scary sounding, we know). When you brush your teeth, you clean these bacteria off of your teeth, getting rid of a biofilm they form called plaque. When you use a toothpaste with fluoride (which we strongly recommend you do), you also help your teeth remineralize, a process which makes them more durable. Brush twice a day.
Not enough people floss. That’s a real shame, because when you don’t floss, you can’t clean every part of your teeth, which means bacteria have a place to grow and flourish. Flossing at least once a day doesn’t just reduce your risk of getting cavities; it improves the health of your gums, too.
Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods
Acid weakens your teeth. Weak teeth are more prone to cavities. When you eat or drink acidic substances, be sure to do so with a healthy amount of water; this helps get rid of the acid. Never brush immediately after consuming acidic food and drink; this can actually force the acid into your teeth. Sugar feeds bacteria and bacteria create acids that eat into your teeth – cut back on foods that are sweetened.
Drink More Water
Aside from washing acidity out of your mouth, water serves a number of important purposes. The biggest one for oral health is saliva production – when you don’t drink enough water each day, you can end up with dry mouth which makes you more prone to cavities. Water is also fluoridated which, as we discussed, helps teeth stay strong and durable.
Visit Your Dentist
No matter how perfect your oral health routine is, you’ll never get every bit of plaque. As plaque accumulates, it hardens into a substance called tartar which can’t be removed by at-home oral health care. This gives bacteria a place to call home; from there, they can begin eating into your teeth. Regular dental cleanings will eliminate this tartar and reduce the chances of cavities forming.
People who are quite prone to cavities may be given a number of other practical solutions by their dentists. These solutions might include antibacterial mouthwash or sealants on their molars to reduce the risk of cavities forming.
Looking for more Winnipeg dental hygiene tips, from how much fluoride there is in our water to whether or not you should risk those frozen maple snacks at Festival du Voyageur? Check out the rest of the resources on our blog or get in touch with us; we want to make sure everyone in our city is well-informed about their oral health.