When it is time for your next dental services appointment, the last thing you want to hear from your dentist is that you have cavities. Brushing, flossing, and having regular dental cleanings all help reduce the occurrence of cavities, but there is more that you can do. Check out a few simple lifestyle changes that will minimize your chances of getting cavities.
1. Snack Smart
Every time you snack, you are bathing your teeth in food. This is problematic, especially if you are snacking on foods that are high in carbohydrates. Once on your teeth, these high carbohydrate foods create an ideal environment for plaque to develop.
Consider reducing the number of times that you snack throughout the day, and try not to graze for hours at a time. When snack time is over, brush your teeth if possible. If you can't brush, drink a glass of water and swish it around your teeth.
Make sure that the snacks that you choose are nutritious. Avoid foods that coat the teeth or get stuck in between the teeth (frosted baked goods, chips, cookies, and gooey candies are some of the most common culprits). You should also monitor your beverages. Try to consume sugary beverages in one sitting rather than sipping the drink throughout the day. When you are through with your beverage, have a glass of water to remove residue from the teeth.
2. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum throughout the day is another way to decrease your likelihood of getting a cavity. When you chew gum, this stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth. As your mouth produces more saliva, this assists in removing food particles from your teeth.
Saliva also contains phosphate and calcium. Both of these minerals will strengthen your teeth's enamel. Stronger enamel will help keep your teeth from developing cavities.
Make sure your gum is labeled as sugar free. While gum with sugar will increase your saliva production, the sugar in the gum will also encourage the development of plaque.
3. Regularly Replace Your Toothbrush or Toothbrush Head
It is important to replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head approximately every three months. As your toothbrush ages, the bristles start to wear down. Bristles that are worn out will not do an effective job at removing food particles from and between your teeth.
If you are using a manual toothbrush, you may want to switch to an electric toothbrush. Most individuals do not utilize a proper toothbrushing technique 100 percent of the time. An electric toothbrush helps pick up the slack to ensure that cavity-causing plaque does not develop on your teeth.