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How to prevent cavities (DIY)

Excerpt: Adult teeth are incredibly important, having proper dental care to extend the longevity of your teeth will save you lots of problems when you get older.
Table of Contents

What Causes Cavities?

Cavities are the tiny brown spots that form on your teeth, eventually, these spots will eat away at your enamel and become holes. These spots happen the acid eats enough of the tooth enamel, the acid is created from the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria will cause a film to form on your teeth which are called plaque, this plaque can be removed, however, given enough time the plaque will harden into tartar (also known as calculus). A cavity will occur when the acid damage spreads underneath the enamel into the dentin layer.

Adult teeth are incredibly important, having proper dental care to extend the longevity of your teeth will save you lots of problems when you get older. If your teeth get bad enough that you need implants, they can get fairly pricey.

preventing cavities at home

Preventing as many cavities at home as you can is way cheaper and easier than having them fixed. In many cases, preventing cavities may be as simple as being more vigilant in your oral care. You should also make sure you replace your toothbrushes on a regular basis. 

Here are some ways you can prevent cavities:

  • Keep hydrated – Saliva plays a big role in cleaning your mouth, if you don’t have adequate amounts of hydration, your saliva production will be negatively impacted.
  • Eat less hard stick foods – Hard sticky food like candies and nuts are terrible for teeth, they get stuck easily and increase the amount of acid being produced by the bacteria.
  • Heartburn – If your stomach acid regularly comes into contact with your teeth it will dissolve the enamel as it is very strong.
  • Inadequate oral hygiene – This is easily the best most efficient way to combat cavities. To find out how to have an amazing oral health routine!
How to prevent cavities (DIY) - 1 - Smiles Dental Group

What are the best ways to prevent cavities?

Sugar-Free Gum

Eating sugar-free gum after meals have been clinically proven to re-mineralize the enamel of your teeth, if you can get gum containing xylitol, it has also been proven to increase saliva production. The compound in sugar-free gum that helps your teeth is called casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP). This compound has been shown to have positive benefits in regards to teeth, but more research is needed.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins the human body can get. Since the main source of vitamin D is the sun, you may need to supplement it if you live in areas that get less light most of the year. We actually recommend everyone take a multivitamin as it does a great job of optimizing your vitamin intake. 

Use fluoride added oral care products

Fluoride is an important substance for healthy teeth. If you have weak, or eroding enamel, it may be a sign of fluoride deficiency. You can get products with added fluoride if this is the case, if your dentist thinks it is necessary, they may give you stronger, prescription-only, fluoride-added products.
Note: Too much fluoride can be a bad thing, and try never to swallow toothpaste or mouthwash, as you do not want to ingest more fluoride than what is needed.

Better oral care

Lack of oral care was most likely why you have a cavity in the first place! You either need better technique, or more frequency, check out the teeth cleaning guide we posted earlier in the blog!

Cavity complications

If you’re cavity goes untreated a number of things could happen:
  • Dental abscess
  • Ongoing pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Local swelling
Cavities may not get worse, but it’s rarely a good idea to leave them unattended.
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