At some point in their life, most American adults have had a cavity, or decay due to permanent weakening of their tooth. Symptoms associated with cavities include sensitivity to cold and hot foods and drinks, pain when chewing, and toothaches. Unfortunately, a cavity is irreversible tooth damage that must be fixed with a filling by your dentist. However, you can reverse early stage decay and prevent cavities from forming by promoting remineralization with a great oral care routine in conjunction with the following tips!
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Drink Water
- Use Fluoride
You may have heard that sugar is your mouth’s worst enemy. This is because tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in plaque feed upon your dietary sugars and produce an acid byproduct that wears away your tooth’s enamel, its outer protective layer. The more sugar you eat, the weaker your teeth’s enamel and the greater your risk of developing cavities.
As much as possible, limit your consumption of processed foods and drinks high in simple carbohydrates and sugar, like chips, white bread, candy, and soda. Instead, incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables high in fiber, such as apples, celery, carrots, and leafy greens, into your diet. Crunchy fruits and vegetables stimulate the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles in your mouth and remineralizes your enamel to make it stronger. Similarly, dairy products like cheese and yogurt contain calcium and phosphorus, which also strengthen your teeth.
Similar to why you should avoid candy because of its sugar content and its sticky texture, you should stay away from drinks that are sugary and/or acidic, like soda and citrus-flavored sparkling water with added sugar. Replace these unhealthy drinks with water, preferably fluoridated water. Water neutralizes acids, washes away food particles and sugars that stick to your teeth, combats dry mouth, and is essential for your overall body wellness.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that reduces demineralization and enhances remineralization of teeth. It is scientifically proven to help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the occurrence of cavities. While most public water sources in the United States have fluoride, we also recommend you use toothpaste with fluoride to ensure that you keep your teeth as strong as they can be.
Chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after eating is great for helping to prevent tooth decay because it stimulates your flow of saliva. As mentioned, saliva washes away food particles, helps to neutralize acids, and encourages remineralization. Additionally, sugar-free gum often contains xylitol, a natural sugar-free sweetener that helps to reduce the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth. But remember that we only recommend chewing sugar-free gum; avoid sugary gum that will contribute to cavity development.
Our expert team can check for early signs of tooth decay and can treat more serious cavities with tooth-colored fillings. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to make sure your mouth is cavity-free!