Cavities are largely preventable, and yet millions of Americans live with untreated tooth decay. Some researchers have called the sharp rise in cavities a “silent epidemic.” Most people know that brushing teeth is essential to oral health, but other lifestyle habits can benefit the teeth as well. Here are 10 pro tips to keep your pearly whites shining.
1. Snack smart
We all like to snack, but some foods are better for our teeth than others. Sticky, sugary snacks are a no-go if you’re trying to avoid cavities. But there are plenty of other options that won’t damage your teeth.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery are all great choices. They help clean your teeth and increase saliva flow. And they’re good for you, too!
2. Avoid sugary drinks
All right, let’s talk sugar. It’s the stuff that makes life sweet, but it’s also the main ingredient in cavities.
Most adults would agree that too much candy or cake can cause dental problems, but sugary beverages are actually even worse. Liquids splash sugar directly onto teeth, leading to faster decay. Soda, fruit juice, and sports drinks are all loaded with the sweet stuff. The sugar in these drinks sticks to your teeth and stays there, contributing to enamel decay.
So what’s the best way to protect your teeth? Limit sugary drinks and brush your teeth regularly. That way you can keep your smile healthy—and sweet!
3. Cheese, please
We all know that calcium is essential for strong bones, but did you know it can also help prevent cavities? That’s right, cheese (and other dairy products) contain calcium, which helps strengthen tooth enamel.
Studies have also shown that cheese can help to protect teeth against cavities by increasing saliva flow and neutralizing acid. Saliva is important because it helps rinse away food and bacteria that can cause cavities. So go ahead and indulge in your favorite cheesy dishes!
4. Don’t forget to floss
When it comes to your teeth, the old adage of prevention being better than cure definitely holds true. Flossing helps remove food and plaque from between your teeth where brushing can’t always reach.
You don’t want plaque buildup—it can lead to all sorts of dental problems down the road. So make a point to add flossing to your day-to-day daily schedule. It only takes a few seconds, but it can make a big difference in the health of your teeth.
5. Another reason to quit smoking
Time to kick cigarettes to the curb! Smoking is not only terrible for your health, but it also takes a toll on your teeth. In fact, smokers are more likely to get gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
So if you want to keep your smile looking great and your teeth healthy, steer clear of cigarettes. Not only does smoking cause yellowing and staining, but it also ups your risk for cavities.
6. Chew on sugarless gum
Pop in a piece of sugarless gum after you eat and not only will you have minty-fresh breath, but you’ll also be doing your teeth a solid by helping to prevent cavities. How does gum help? By upping saliva flow and washing away food and bacteria.
And if you go for gum that contains xylitol, a natural sweetener, you’ll get an even bigger cavity-fighting boost. Freshen your breath and do something good for your teeth by reaching for some sugarless gum.
7. Stay hydrated
You need to drink something else besides soda and juice. Water is essential for good health, and that includes oral health. Drinking plenty of water helps rinse away food and bacteria, and it also keeps your mouth hydrated.
A dry mouth can lead to gum disease and other problems, so make sure you’re drinking enough water every day. And if you’re looking for an extra boost, try using a fluoride mouthwash. This important mineral helps fight cavities by strengthening tooth enamel.
8. Sip on some green tea
If you’re looking for a tasty and healthy beverage, green tea is a great option. Not only does it contain fluoride, which helps to reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay, but it’s also packed with antioxidants.
9. Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is like nature’s armor for your teeth that helps strengthen tooth enamel. That’s why it’s important to use fluoride toothpaste when brushing your teeth.
There are plenty of options to choose from, so take some time to find the right one for you. And remember, always brush your teeth twice a day for the best results!
10. Visit your dentist regularly
Ready to freshen up your smile? Have regular cleanings with your dentist every six months. They’ll be able to spot any problems early on and help you keep your smile looking its best. Plus, who doesn’t love that freshly cleaned feeling?
Taking care of your teeth is important for your overall health, so make sure to give them the attention they deserve! Keep these pro tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to a cavity-free smile! And remember, regular brushing and flossing are still the simplest yet most effective ways to prevent cavities. So make sure to brush twice a day and floss once a day for a healthy, beautiful smile.