Cavities are one of the greatest risks when it comes to your oral health. Not only can they be annoying and painful, if left untreated cavities can lead to even greater health problems related to your gums, skull, and brain. While regular dentist appointments can help to prevent, diagnose, and treat cavities, there are ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. This mitigates oral health problems and helps you avoid a sometimes hefty bill. According to Kyle Hornby, a dentist in Kitchener, “preventing cavities doesn’t have to be time-consuming or costly.” Here are 3 simple ways to improve your oral hygiene and prevent cavities.
1: If You Can’t Brush, Swish
Every time you eat, a new layer of plaque builds up on your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, if you’re not at home you won’t be able to easily access a toothbrush. This means that most people will allow this layer of plaque to sit on their teeth for long periods of time, increasing the risk of cavities.
One way to cut down on that risk is to swish water around your mouth when you’re unable to brush your teeth fully. Swishing water around your mouth vigorously 2 or 3 times after eating will get rid of 80% of the initial plaque and decrease the amount of food residue sitting on your teeth for a long time. Pushing the water through your teeth helps as well, since it can dislodge some of the food remnants and plaque stuck between your teeth in a similar way to flossing. While you should still brush as soon as possible, swishing is a great way to increase the effectiveness of that brushing when you aren’t able to get to a toothbrush right away.
2: Mineralize Your Teeth
Another method you may not have heard of before is a process called mineralization. As you know, most toothpastes contain fluoride or hydroxyapatite that reinforce your enamel and strengthen your teeth. This strengthening helps to prevent cavities from forming, and you can increase that protection by mineralizing your teeth.
What is mineralization? Essentially, after you’ve flossed and brushed, take a small dab of toothpaste and put it in your mouth, along with a small amount of water. Swish this mineralized water around and let it sit in your mouth for around 30 seconds to a minute. Even after spitting out this water, you will still have more fluoride or hydroxyapatite on your teeth than there would have been from brushing alone. This process, called mineralization, helps to strengthen your teeth even further and prevent smaller cavities from forming. Small cavities, if left untreated, can easily become a big problem, so this tip is worth pursuing as part of your regular brushing routine.
3: Switch to Probiotic Gum
A large number of people enjoy chewing on gum throughout their day-to-day lives. Probiotic foods and vitamins have recently been getting a lot of great press for their ability to help your gut health, but did you know that probiotics can help with your oral health as well?
The idea behind probiotic gum is simple – just like your stomach, your mouth contains a large amount of bacteria. This bacteria is essential to your oral health, and probiotics can help encourage good bacteria and decrease bad bacteria. By switching to probiotic gum, you’ll be able to decrease your risk of cavities and gum disease, improve bad breath, and improve the strength of your enamel. Probiotic gum can be found at some drug stores, or go to a specialized health food store to get a plethora of options for encouraging specific types of oral improvement and bacteria growth.