Cavities are sneaky little creatures as the problems they cause are not always evident. In fact, you could go through most of your life with cavities and not notice them until it is too late.
The thing to remember is: not all cavities are painful. Some simply are places where food regularly gets trapped. However, eventually this can change and lead to pain, fillings, RCT or even an extraction.
How can I protect my teeth?
The first step to beating cavities is learning how to prevent them and keep your mouth healthy:
1. Eat properly – directly or indirectly, your food choices can contribute to the creation of cavities, so it is essential to spot the triggers and limit your intake.
Foods to avoid/minimise: The biggest culprit is carbohydrates, otherwise known as sugars. Whilst you can’t avoid carbohydrates completely – after all they are a staple part of any diet – we recommend lowering your intake and adopting proper oral hygiene techniques, as their stickiness causes them to cling to the surface of your teeth and encourages bacterial growth.
Junk foods i.e. fats in ultra-processed forms, are as equally as damaging as carbohydrates as they contain the worst kinds of sugar which unfortunately bacteria loves. This is worsened when they are snacked on regularly or at short intervals.
2.Understanding how your mouth works – Our mouths works at an increased PH of around 6.5 and 6.9. When foods are introduced, this pH drops (usually within 5-20 minutes) and our mouths become more acidic. Normally our mouths are able to normalise this pH given time. However if you are constantly snacking, your mouth is never able to reset and remains too acidic causing disintegration of your teeth and cavity formation.
3. Good foods – Try to eat more fibrous and crunchy foods. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can help to remove sticky foods (junk and carbohydrates) that end up deposited on the surface of your teeth, thus preventing the development of cavities.
Alternatively, you can try chewing sugar free gum as this also helps to remove deposited foods.
4. Oral Hygiene – Cavities occur when food is allowed to accumulate on the surface of your teeth. That is why it is essential to implement a proper oral hygiene routine as this will limit the build-up of bacteria and deposition.
Infographic Source: http://blog.stuartdentalspa.com/2012/10/26/prevent-tooth-decay-avoid-cavities/
Techniques include: Brushing your teeth after meals – aim to brush your team at least twice a day for two minutes, once in the morning and then again at night after you have eaten. If you are in the position to brush every time you eat, we recommend waiting 30 minutes, then brushing.
NOTE: To ensure an effective brush, be sure to clean all the surfaces of your teeth, as well as remove any food debris around your gum lines to prevent inflammation.
Flossing – perfect for preventing the development of cavities between your teeth, flossing helps to remove any food debris that wasn’t first caught by your tooth brush.
NOTE: Remember to brush first, then floss afterwards.
Mouthwash – These can do more than keep your breath fresh. Mouthwashes also contain chlorhexidine (a strong anti-septic that kills bacteria); triclosan (prevents tooth decay) and flourides (that can re-mineralise damaged teeth, make your enamel stronger and inhibit the action of bacteria).
Visit your dentist – We always advise visiting your dentist like Bhandal Dentistry for regular check-ups as they can give you an accurate gauge on the condition of your teeth, as well as perform dental scaling; provide treatment against cavities (dental sealant), and show you preventative measures.
As you can see, each and every one of these measures has the power to improve the health and condition of your teeth. So why not give them a try and witness the benefits of stronger, cavity free teeth.