9 Daily Dental Care Tips To Prevent Cavities

Last updated on : January 26 2022

Girls are smiling.

There's more to oral health than just keeping gum diseases and cavities at bay. We now know (as per research) that the general health of a person has close ties with their dental health. Oral health has far more ramifications on our overall health than we think.

Without proper care and prevention methods, you're prone to gum diseases like tooth decay and cavities. These can cause malnutrition, diabetes, and even heart problems in the long term. 

The good news is, with proper care (both at-home and professional), you can prevent most oral diseases, including cavities. In this post, we discuss just that. 

But, first, let's look at the most typical reasons that cause tooth decay/cavities.

Causes of Cavities/Tooth Decay 

1. Poor Oral Hygiene Habits

Only brushing is not enough. You need to floss and clean your tongue as well. Additionally, swishing with mouthwash is another essential part of oral hygiene. 

For best results, brushing twice a day with the proper technique is recommended. People who don't maintain these habits are most susceptible to tooth damage.

2. Consuming Too Much Sugar

Oral bacteria thrive on sugar. It's their perfect food. When you eat simple sugars, bacteria become locked within the acid layer that slowly starts eating away at the enamel. 

If you must eat sugar, go with complex sugars rather than processed/simple ones. Also, when you have something too sugary, brush your teeth right after to avoid acid build-up.

3. Consuming Highly Acidic Food

Certain juices (like pineapple and orange) and sodas are the most acidic drinks. Several foods that we consume regularly are also high in acidic content. Over time, acidity breaks down the enamel layer of our teeth, leading to cavities.

4. Tooth Grinding

Many reasons can cause tooth grinding, such as stress. Most people do it while sleeping without realizing it. 

Grinding can damage your teeth' outer layer, making them vulnerable to cavities. If you suspect grinding to be the culprit, be sure to learn how to manage it.

5. Heartburn

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn causes the stomach acid to move in your mouth (known as reflux). We know that acid is the easiest way to wear off your teeth' enamel. If you suffer from gastric reflux, consult your physician today.

6. Eating Disorders 

 Eating Disorders

Bulimia is when a person vomits (purges) repeatedly after eating something. Conditions like bulimia and anorexia can often cause stomach acid to wash over your teeth. After some time, it can start eroding the outer protective layer. These disorders can also disrupt saliva production.

How to Prevent Cavities 

1. Know Your Risk Level

Knowing where you stand with cavity risk is the first step to taking charge of your oral health. 

But how can you assess your risks? By getting a comprehensive dental examination by your dentist. 

Regular exams and discussion with a specialist will tell you where you stand, what possible treatments to go for, and what kind of care regimen is ideal for you. You will also know what kind of diet changes may help. 

You can follow a more tailored and practical approach to preventing cavities by assessing your risk level.

2. Brush At Least Twice a Day

Your mouth is home to billions of tiny microbes that recycle everything you drink and eat. Everything that you consume leaves certain sugars behind on which these bacteria feed. 

The feeding process results in dental waste called plaque, a biofilm, which exacerbates acid release - eventually leading to enamel erosion and tooth cavities. 

3. How brushing helps 

Brushing is the simplest and most effective way to offer excellent plaque fighting power in only a few minutes. Ideally, it would help to brush after each meal and before hitting the bed. 

Brushing right before bed is super important because bacteria that linger overnight cause the most enamel damage and acid production. 

The way you brush is also essential. Click here to learn about the proper brushing technique. Avoid aggressive brushing, though. It's just as damaging as not brushing at all. 

Additionally, get a quality antimicrobial mouthwash to freshen your breath. 

4. Floss or Clean Between Your Teeth Daily

Flossing is no one's favorite activity. But, here's the thing - there are five sides to our teeth, and each one needs thorough and regular cleaning. 

You may be brushing every day, but that mainly covers only three sides. Flossing reaches areas that regular bristles simply cannot. 

Flossing takes only a couple of minutes, but it could save you several expensive trips to the dentist and a lot of pain in the long run. There's no easier way to improve your oral health exponentially.

It's all about getting started, and within a few days, flossing will become a part of your routine. Instead of looking at it as a chore, think of it as a multitask. Do it while you're reading in bed, watching TV, or surfing the internet. 

Try to floss right after you have a meal and also before bedtime. The key is to start small and slowly cultivate it into a routine that sticks with you.

5. Use Antimicrobial Mouthwash

Studies tell us that certain mouthwashes can significantly benefit your oral health. These studies found that mouthwashes contain a powerful antibacterial ingredient called chlorhexidine. Which helps control gingivitis and plaque formation. Mouthwashes with some essential oils can be even more effective. 

You could also use oil-pulling (the ancient ayurvedic mouth cleansing method) first in the morning to control bacterial formation. Remember that mouthwash for oil pulling is not a substitute for flossing or brushing. Instead, it's supposed to be a complementary practice.

6. Cut Back on Sugary Foods And Acidic Drinks

Colorful gumdrops

We already talked about the impact of acidic and sugary foods. According to the WHO, keeping your sugar intake below 10% of your total everyday calorie consumption is essential. 

We have studies to confirm that sugar plays a significant role in causing tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, and other gum diseases. The most common culprits are desserts, candies, processed foods rich in artificial sugars, and carbonated beverages. 

Experts further suggest that starchy foods like crackers, pasta, chips, and bread can cause significant tooth decay and cavities. These foods tend to linger longer in the mouth. They are easier to break down into simple sugars. Acid-producing bacteria feed on simple sugars.

The American Dental Association recommends consuming more fiber-rich foods, vegetables, and dairy products not heavy on sugar.

7. Drink Fluoridated Water

Fluoride comes from fluorine - an element found in soil. Several experts believe that fluoride could help prevent decay and cavities. 

That's why most toothpaste brands advertise fluoride in their products, including mouthwashes. However, not all dental products contain fluoride, so checking labels is essential. 

The available research suggests that a lack of fluoride could lead to cavities even if one follows a wholesome oral health regimen. According to a recent review, flossing and brushing alone is not enough to avoid cavity formation if not using fluoride.

Many parts of the US add fluoride to the water supply for this very purpose. Many organizations such as the ADA, CDC (Center for Disease Control), and WHO also recommend this practice.

To check whether or not the water supply in your area contains fluoride, you could contact the local government officials or visit their website. If you use a water filter with reverse osmosis, know that the process generally removes fluoride.

8. Go for Regular Dental Examinations

According to the experts, one must see their dentists at least once every six months.

A typical routine checkup involves the removal of hardened tartar and plaque. Your dentist will also look for common signs of gum disease, cavities, signs of oral cancer, and other issues. Sometimes, they may take an x-ray to look for cavities. 

But, if you're very particular about oral hygiene, you can try a service like Markham Stouffville Smile Centre

You could also consult your doctor and ask how frequently you should come up for the checkup when in doubt.

Different people have different health histories, care regimens, and levels of dental health. So, the answer is often different for everybody.

9. Quit Smoking

Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits for your overall health. It weakens your body's immune system and increases the odds of oral and lung cancer. 

With a weak immunity, your body has a more challenging time healing the tissues, including the ones in your mouth. 

According to the CDC, smoking is one of the significant risk factors for gum disease. What's more, people who smoke take longer to heal after undergoing any dental procedure.

Smoking also leads to discoloration of teeth, thus hampering your smile.

Final Thoughts

Caring for your dental health is all about getting into a routine that sticks with you. By instilling healthy care practices and habits, you can enjoy long-term oral health benefits for sure. 

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