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5 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay and Cavities

We’d all like to keep our pearly whites looking beautiful. After all, a nice smile is often cited as one of the most attractive features when meeting people for the first time or pinpointing what we find appealing about strangers. But having a mouth full of chompers that look nice isn’t enough; you also want your teeth to be healthy and functional. And even if you can’t necessarily see tooth decay and cavities with the naked eye, their presence in your mouth can cause pain, odor, and serious problems chewing your food, not to mention worsening issues over time. Luckily, these health conditions are easily preventable when you practice proper oral hygiene and overall care. Here are just a few tips for activities and habits that should help to prevent cavities and tooth decay, preserving the health of your teeth and gums.

  1. Axe bad habits. You are probably aware of the fact that habits like smoking and drinking are terrible for your health in general, but you might not realize what they can do to your teeth. You not only have the potential to see staining as a result of your bad habits, but both of these activities dehydrate you and dry your mouth, reducing your natural defenses (saliva) and opening you up to all kinds of problems, including cavities, tooth decay, and other harmful conditions. Of course, if you down sugary soda all day like it’s going out of style, smoking and drinking might not even be your worst habit where your teeth are concerned. Sugar not only clings to teeth and promotes bacterial growth, but the acids wear away your enamel (and food dyes stain your teeth). In short, it’s one of the worst abuses modern man perpetrates against his teeth.
  2. Eat right. Once you’ve cut the bad stuff out of your diet, you need to put some thought into the type of consumption that supports healthy teeth. Drinking plenty of water is not only smart for your bodily functions in general, but it also helps to rinse away excess food particles and bacteria that can build in your mouth and lead to cavities and tooth decay. You may also want to add dairy to your diet. Calcium helps to build strong bones (including teeth), and cheese can actually cut acidity, helping to balance the pH in your mouth and protect enamel from attack.
  3. Brush up your daily regimen. If you already brush, floss, and rinse after every meal, you’re doing a lot better than most adults, who can muster brushing twice a day and flossing and rinsing semi-regularly at best. However, it couldn’t hurt to ask your dentist for a refresher course in these daily maintenance tasks. Honestly, when was the last time someone showed you how to brush, floss, or rinse appropriately? When you were three? You may have forgotten the finer points.
  4. See your dentist regularly. Regular visits to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning are a must if you want to avoid cavities and tooth decay, or at least catch them early enough that they don’t do irreparable damage to your oral health. So set up appointments as recommended by your dentist to ensure that minor problems don’t become major toothaches.
  5. Follow professional suggestions. You may not enjoy getting x-rays or cleanings, and if you’re feeling no pain, the thought of shelling out money to fix a tiny cavity might seem unnecessary. But there’s a reason you go to Embassy Dental or your local dental care provider regularly; it’s because you want professional care. So let your dentist do the job he/she was trained for and take suggestions under strong consideration.