Fight Off Tooth Decay and Cavities
Even though we’ve seen a dramatic decline in tooth decay, it is still an oral health issue that is not only widespread, but it is also one that can leave patients with devastating effects. Over 3 million people are affected by tooth decay every year. This is an oral health condition that can strike at any age. In fact, according to the NCOHF, National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, it is considered to be a chronic childhood disease that affects many children.
Not only does tooth decay cause tooth loss and disease in the gums, it is also linked to a number of seemingly unrelated health conditions such as:
– Heart disease
The founder of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Mayo, once stated that if people took better care of their teeth and gums, they could possibly extend their lives up to 10 additional years. Although there are varying factors when it comes to individuals, the general stance remains true. It is extremely important that people maintain perfect oral health so they can maintain and improve their general health.
You are probably familiar with the typical ways to prevent tooth decay such as brushing and flossing your teeth daily, scheduling at least two CDA-recommended visits with your dentist a year and rinse out with mouthwash. However, there are some other, less known, but interesting and surprising ways that you can fight off tooth decay in your daily routine.
The following are six interesting ways to prevent tooth decay.
Enjoy That Cheese!
We know that cheese tastes great, it is addictive, and most people would cover all of their food with cheese if they could. Well, good news. Cheese also has the ability to keep tooth decay at bay.
There have been studies conducted including those by The Academy of General Dentistry that have revealed that when a person eats cheese, the saliva in the mouth becomes more alkaline. As a result, harmful plaque acids are neutralized.
It is also believed that cheese is able to act as a layer around the teeth. In this way, it acts as a protectant to keep bacteria from reaching the enamel of the teeth. This is dental health news that cheese lovers around the world are happy to hear.
Increase Milk Consumption
Continuing with the dairy theme, milk is another nutrient dense dairy product that can help prevent tooth decay. The ads that were once in magazines and television non-stop seemed to have had it correct all the time. Milk really does do a body good.
Milk is full of three nutrients that, when they work together, can place a protective shield around the teeth. These nutrients are:
As a result, harmful bacteria that feeds on acidity and sugars are prevented from damaging the teeth. This means that you should be sure to drink a glass of milk after you have indulged in a sweet and sugary snack. Besides washing away bacteria and residue, milk also creates a protective decay fighting layer around each tooth.
Drink with A Straw
There are many drinks on the market that are acidic and sugary. Drinks such as fruit juices, sodas and other sweet drinks can negatively impact your teeth.
However, if you really need your regular pick me up in the afternoon and you are reaching for your favorite soda, be sure to use a straw. When you drink these types of beverages with a straw, you will force the beverage to bypass your teeth and they will cause minimal damage to your teeth’s enamel.
Always Brush Your Teeth as Soon As You Wake Up
Everyone has a morning routine that they follow. From hitting the snooze button five times before getting up, to drinking that first cup of coffee, when you brush your teeth can also prevent tooth decay.
For example, do you brush your teeth before you drink a cup of coffee, or after you drink your coffee? If you brush after you drink your coffee and eat breakfast, you may be harming your teeth more than helping them.
The more traditional foods and drinks that people enjoy during breakfast can change the pH in the mouth because these foods and drinks are often high in acid. By brushing after eating and drinking, you may be brushing away the minerals that your teeth depend on for protection.
Instead, brush your teeth as soon as you wake up. This will help to remove the bacteria that accumulated in your mouth while you slept.
Chew on Sugar-Free Gum
This is one tooth decay prevention tip that may surprise some people. However, if you did not know, chewing on sugar-free gum can help prevent tooth decay by stimulating saliva flow in the mouth.
The increased saliva production can help to wash away bacteria that causes plaque and tartar buildup. The saliva will also help to keep the pH balance in the mouth at the right level. So, be sure to keep your favorite sugar-free gum handy to help combat cavities and tooth decay.