We all know the common and accepted ways to prevent cavities — it happens through preventative dental care both at-home and with your local dentist. At home, it’s highly encouraged to brush twice per day and floss at least once, and go to the dentist’s office for a routine teeth cleaning twice per year! Eating a healthy diet and steering clear of highly processed foods — including sugar and starch — will also give your teeth a fighting chance from tooth decay.
If you’re interested in some uncommon ways to up your dental health game, keep reading for interesting ways!
Did you know there is a very small percentage of people — two percent to be exact — who can actually produce the M18 strain of beneficial bacteria to ward off cavities? You can read about it in-depth here. For the rest of us, we have to be diligent in our dental health care to fight cavities. With all the medical advances we’ve seen, why then, in this day and age are we still getting cavities?
At this point, there are no magic pills or procedures, and preventing cavities is up to the person (and some genetic components) to take the responsibility into their own hands — preventing cavities is up to you! In understanding how cavities form, you may better understand how to prevent them.
Cavities begin to form when the bacteria levels in your mouth are unequally balanced, and the harmful bacteria are able to overpower the beneficial bacteria. The bad bacteria can tip the balance by the foods you are consuming. If you eat a diet high in starchy, processed carbs and sugars and pair that with poor dental health habits, that’s when the bacteria can start building their wall. When food debris is left behind in the small cravasses of your teeth, the bad bacteria eat the stragglers and digest them into acid. The acid, overtime, begins to wear the enamel, resulting in cavities. This is why it’s imperative to follow the guidelines of your local dentist and be consistent in your dental care habits!
Uncommon ways to protect your teeth
Drink tea! – Tea contains lovely and powerful compounds that can prevent starches (amylases) from breaking down and turning into sugars. There is also a catechin in tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that reduces the amount of acid produced by the harmful bacteria. So, drink tea but avoid adding sweeteners to it!
Brush when you first wake up – Bacteria is known to go to work overnight, even if you brushed the night before. Combat those bugs first thing, even before breakfast. Keep in mind to brush at least a half an hour before you eat, because if you’re drinking coffee or orange juice (acidic beverages) it weakens the enamel. Brushing right before or right after can actually drive the acid right into the enamel, making it worse.
Rinse and repeat – If you love drinking coffee or soda throughout the day, protect your teeth from the acid by drinking water in-between or alongside these beverages. The water helps rinse and flush the acid away from your teeth.
Get sealed – Many people don’t realize this, but dental sealants are for people of any age! Sealants are highly protective and effective plastic coatings that line the surface of your molars. So, if you have extra-deep molars, consider dental sealants to combat tooth decay!
Attend more happy hours! – There is research that has found specific compounds (proanthocyanidins) in red wine fight cavity-causing bacteria! While this is great news for wine lovers, remember red wine is one of the worst offenders for staining teeth! Perhaps it’s trade off!
Precision Dental of Windsor
Let us at Precision Dental help you in all your preventative dental care needs including your bi-annual teeth cleanings!