Most of us know that we’re supposed to brush and floss twice a day in order to prevent cavities. However, the reality is that most of our oral habits fall far short of what the American Dental Association recommends.
The best way to prevent cavities is through regular dental care and good oral health practices. The following five tips can help you prevent cavities and keep your mouth healthier!
1. Know your cavity risk level
While we should all brush and floss, there is no “one size fits all approach to dental care. The level of care – and interventions – needed depends on your cavity risk levels. Those who have had past cavities or enamel erosion are at high risk for cavities, while those with poor dietary habits or an absence of bacteria are at a more moderate risk. Those at the lowest risk have a healthy diet, have had sealants applied, produce sufficient saliva, and regularly use products containing fluoride.
2. Brush your teeth with the right brush, right technique, and right toothpaste
Brushing is important; brushing the right way with the right products is the most effective way of preventing cavities. The American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled brush and brushing teeth gently at a 45-degree angle. This helps prevent over brushing and other gingival injuries to the teeth, which can contribute to dentin erosion. Likewise, make sure to select toothpaste and mouthwash with antimicrobial properties, which help restrict the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth.
3. Cut back on sugary drinks
Juice, soda, tea, coffee, or energy drinks may give us a boost during the day, but they can have an adverse effect on our teeth. Sipping on sugary drinks over a long period of time prolongs the teeth’s exposure to acid, sugar, and their accompanying bad bacteria; multiple studies have shown that drinking sugary drinks throughout the day can negatively effect oral health. Still need a boost from coffee? Try to finish drinks within 20 minutes – and rinse with water after.
4. Get into the habit of flossing
Our teeth have five sides – and only three of them are cleaned when brushing. Flossing is necessary to fully clean all of the surfaces of the tooth. Get into the habit of flossing by making it a part of your daily routine. While we should ideally floss – and brush – after every meal, focus on flossing at night; try flossing with reading a book in bed or watching a show in the evening.
5. Eat tooth-healthy foods
Certain foods better protect our teeth against damage and decay. Calcium-rich cheese and yogurt and crunch fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, or celery are amongst the best foods for oral health. Looking for snacks between meals? Shop for gum or mints that contain xylitol; this naturally-occurring sweetener has been clinically proven to neutralize bad bacteria in the mouth. At 4ever Mints, we’re proud to provide our customers with products that freshen their breath while improving their oral health with xylitol.