We can all jump on google and read endless information on how to prevent cavities. This is yet another example, EXCEPT I am proposing practical everyday solutions that I use myself. I find these to be simple and effective. I will suggest a few and if you can even add one of them, I strongly believe it will help preserve your enamel and ultimately your teeth for many more years.
First let me start by mentioning that the one thing you need to know is that SUGAR is the cause of all cavities. Keep in mind that although some of us may not eat “sweets,” sugar is found in a lot of foods in nature. As a general rule, if it tastes sweet, it has sugar in it. Sugar equals cavities. Have you ever noticed that after eating something sugary such as a cookie, our mouths seem a bit acidic for about 15 minutes? That is because the normal bacteria in our mouths are collaborating with the sugar and are creating acids that are attacking our teeth. This causes a drop in the pH and causes cavities. Therefore, after each time we eat sweets it takes our mouths about 15 minutes to cool off and return to normal pH. Now those are the basics and if you keep that in mind you can help prevent a lot of cavities. Here are my personal gems and I hope you will consider them:
1. Keep a bottle of water around. Sip on water throughout the day. A simple sip is all I ask. Try sipping on water about twice an hour. It really doesn’t matter how much, but bathe your teeth with water a couple times each hour. Tap water is an excellent source as many cities add a little fluoride which helps fight cavities. If you don’t want to drink the tap water, that’s fine. Simply rinse your mouth with it whenever you go to a sink and expectorate.
2. Keep a bottle of mouthwash in your shower. Yes, you read it correctly. Although I have no problem with brushing, flossing and mouthwash as a ritual, the final mouthwash step is redundant. Let me clarify. When we are done brushing, as long as we swish and rinse it is essentially doing what a mouthwash does anyway. Therefore at that session, there is no need to mouthwash if you don’t feel like it. Go ahead and brush and floss and simply rinse out. Instead, I want us to put a bottle of mouthwash in the shower. This will introduce a whole different time of day that we can deliver antiseptic and fluoride to our teeth. Call it disgusting, but ultimately it’s actually quite the opposite: it’s hygienic! So from now on, simply move your mouthwash over to the shower and rinse and expectorate for 60 seconds each time you shower.
3. If you’re going to drink a soda or even a glass of juice, go right ahead. However, keep in mind the 15 minute recovery we discussed above. All I ask is that you drink it all at once rather than sip on it throughout the day. This way the pH in your mouth won’t have to yo-yo back and forth.
4. Floss. Get a bunch of tiny packs. Put them all around the house. Ladies, put one in your purse. Put one in your car. Put a pack on your nightstand. Put one next to your TV. That way, when you get the urge you’ll do it. Nothing replaces flossing. Nothing. Read my blog on flossing if you want to know how important it is for our health. If you need tiny packs, stop by the office and I’m happy to give you a handful.
5. Use a fluoridated paste. I don’t care what brand it is as long as it has fluoride. When fluoride is on our teeth, bacteria cannot bind on and use the sugar to create the acids. If you have questions about fluoride or are concerned about toxicity please feel free to ask and I am happy to address them.
Hope these help and please try to make these simple adjustments. Your teeth will thank you for them.