Having a healthy smile doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, preventing issues such as cavities is relatively easy – it’s just a matter of making small adjustments to your daily routine. To avoid having your dentist drilling into your teeth to fill cavities, there are four easy things you can do.
Get routine cleanings
A great way to prevent excess plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities and other dental problems, is to go to the dentist in the first place. Be sure to schedule a routine cleaning at least every six months (or more often if your insurance will cover it). This way the hygienist can remove the excess plaque from your teeth and your dentist can check to make sure that everything is good to go. Plus it feels great to have clean, freshly polished teeth anyway.
Use toothpaste that contains fluoride
This one kind of seems like a no-brainer, but not all toothpastes on the market are made with fluoride. Fluoride is key in preventing cavities because it remineralizes your teeth, hardens them, and has an antibacterial effect. In fact, this is why many cities have introduced fluoride into their tap water – it prevents tooth decay. Be sure to check the ingredients on your toothpaste when you get home. If you see that fluoride is missing, it’s time to pick a new one up during your next grocery run.
Break out the floss
Many of us know that we’re supposed to floss once a day. The tricky part is actually doing it. Flossing between your teeth removes food particles that can wreak havoc on your teeth by leading to tooth decay and cavities. If you’re not a morning person, try adding this small step to your nighttime routine. You may even be able to pick up a travel size floss on your way out the door after your routine cleaning.
Limit your sugar intake
A lot of us tend to think that the best way to keep our teeth healthy is to follow through with the upkeep, but one of the best ways to reduce cavities is to reduce your sugar intake. Whether you’re a fan of sugary foods or drinks (or both), less exposure to sugar means you’ll be less likely to develop a cavity. This is because the bad bacteria in your mouth feeds off of sugar. Together they produce an acid that destroys tooth enamel, thus weakening your teeth. Another great way to stop cavities from developing is to limit the number of starchy carbs you eat. Foods such as breads and chips can turn into sugar, which fuels the bad bacteria in your mouth.
If you’re due for your routine dental cleaning or you’d like to speak to a professional about your own personal dental care, schedule an appointment at Joyner Dental Arts. Our team has been helping patients like you create beautiful healthy smiles at our Cedar Rapids location since 2000.