Four Surprising Ways to Prevent Cavities

Four Surprising Ways to Prevent Cavities

Four Surprising Ways to Combat Cavities

Old habits die hard, especially when it comes to our health. From exercising more to flossing regularly, building better health habits is top of mind – especially this time of year. But how do we form better habits and keep them? Psychology Today says, “Through repetition, it’s possible to form—and maintain—new habits. Even long-time habits that are detrimental to one’s health and well-being can be broken with enough determination and a smart approach.”

Considering the well-being of your teeth and gums is a good start. When it comes to oral health, some of the most important habits to adopt are:

  1. Brushing your teeth twice a day.
  2. Daily flossing to reach the bacteria between your teeth and under the gum line.
  3. Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams with your dentist.

Simply put, these three habits can help maintain good oral health, plus lead to better overall health.  Besides, brushing and flossing your teeth can easily be done from home and only takes a few minutes. The time set-aside can lead to a lifetime of good oral health.

Beyond these standard methods of preventing cavities, there are a number of surprising ways to keep your mouth healthy that you might also find interesting. You may even adopt some of these tips in the New Year.

Drinking Tap Water with Fluoride

Over 70 years ago community water fluoridation was initiated. According to the CDC:

Fluoride has been proven to protect teeth from decay. Bacteria in the mouth produce acid when a person eats sugary foods. This acid eats away minerals from the tooth’s surface, making the tooth weaker and increasing the chance of developing cavities. Fluoride helps to rebuild and strengthen the tooth’s surface, or enamel. Water fluoridation prevents tooth decay by providing frequent and consistent contact with low levels of fluoride. By keeping the tooth strong and solid, fluoride stops cavities from forming and can even rebuild the tooth’s surface.

Furthermore, drinking fluoridated water keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities (also called tooth decay) by about 25% in children and adults. So, keep drinking that fluorinated tap water. And, if you are interested in finding out the fluoride level of your public water system, contact your water utility provider.

Oral Benefits Found in Cocoa, Coffee, Tea

According to this article published in the National Library of Medicine, “Polyphenols occurring in cocoa, coffee and tea can have a role in the prevention of cariogenic processes, due to their antibacterial action.” To put it more simply, research suggests that antioxidants found in cocoa, coffee, and tea suppress the growth of cavity-causing bacteria that stick to teeth. But keep in mind that adding sweeteners and milk to coffee and tea can compromise the positive effects.

Eating Fatty Fish

Fatty acids from marine sources have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. In certain studies, fatty fish acids have provided protection against inflammation-induced tissue and bone loss associated with periodontitis (gum disease).

Chewing Sugarless Gum

Sounds strange but chewing certain sugarless gum can increase the flow of saliva in your mouth which helps to prevent cavities. In fact, the American Dental Association awarded a Seal of Acceptance for gum products sweetened by non-cavity-causing sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol.

Most importantly, visiting your dentist regularly is the main way to prevent cavities and protect your oral health. Schedule your appointment today for 2021.