Going to the dentist for regular checkups and exams is a great way to begin your approach to preventing dental decay and the possible procedures that might follow a diagnosis of tooth decay. None of us wants to have restorative dental work done, so prevention can be a major factor in decreasing the need for follow up visits to our regular checkups!
Daily Routines for Cavity Prevention
Your dentist can never stress enough to you the importance of daily cleaning routines for your teeth. Brushing and flossing thoroughly and effectively are your best first defense against tooth decay! The doctors at DHA recommend brushing your teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush at least three times daily, and at best after every meal or snack.
Flossing is also especially important in cleaning between the teeth where food and bacteria can hide from just brushing alone. Flossing all the teeth once a day is a great habit to develop in your daily routine.
Chewing sugar free gum with Xylitol can also be beneficial in preventing decay. Xylitol is a naturally derived sugar substitute from the sugar cane. Unlike white sugar, Xylitol is much better for your teeth and will not promote tooth decay or cavities. So, chewing gum can be beneficial for you, BUT for those who struggle with jaw joint pain – temporomandibular joint dysfunction – please consider other methods of cavity prevention, as excessive gum chewing can be harmful and painful to the jaw joints!
Daily Foods to Include in Your Diet
Sugar filled candy, as we all know, is not recommended on a daily basis as this type of treat can definitely promote tooth decay! However, much like the sugar free gum mentioned above, there is available sugar free candies that also contain Xylitol. So, in moderation, go ahead and enjoy that sugar free candy!
Did you know that eating cheese can also be great for your teeth? All types of cheese contain a protein called Casein. Casein is an overall protectant for your teeth. When eating cheese, the saliva is infused with calcium, which in turn will remineralize your teeth from the outside in.
Some recent research has also shown that it is a great possibility that red and white wine and dark and light raisins all have a set of individual chemical compounds that are able to fight oral bacteria that usually lead to tooth decay and cavities. Polyphenols and flavonoids are also found in these foods, and are well known to be oral astringents.
Other Actions to Take
When drinking a highly acidic beverage such as iced tea, iced coffee, soda, or juice, using a straw may help to spare your enamel from the ill effects that sugar and acid found in these beverages can have upon your teeth. Avoid drinking sugar soda on a daily basis as the effects on tooth decay has been widely documented. The combination of sugar and acid is very harmful to our teeth!
Finally, your DHA dentist can place a dental sealant on your back teeth, your molars, to help prevent decay on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Dental sealants are a liquid resin material which is placed on the chewing surfaces of our molars and allowed to bond into the natural pits and fissures of these teeth. This procedure can be very effective in preventing decay in these areas of our teeth where food and bacteria can accumulate. Sealants are generally placed when the six and twelve year molars erupt into the mouth. This procedure can add protection to our kids’ teeth during the cavity prone years!