That is a BIG number and yes, cavities are common. But, in many cases, they are preventable! So, here are a few ways that you can help to prevent cavities:
- Brush! It always goes back to brushing, doesn’t it? Two minutes, two times a day. No exceptions! Brushing in the morning and at night can help to remove debris and keep your teeth cavity-free. Remember- it takes about 6 weeks to develop a new habit, so be prepared to hit some roadblocks and keep at it!
- Floss! Along with the brushing, flossing reaches the remaining tooth surface to keep it all clean. Even the best brusher would be missing over 30% of tooth structure without flossing. That is a lot of your teeth, so be sure to floss once a day.
- Watch the Sugar! What you eat goes a long way when it comes to dental health. Many foods that are healthy for us (or we think are healthy) have a lot of sugar in them. Read your labels and limit how much sugar you eat. Pay attention not only to the food you eat but the drinks you drink. Sports drinks, juices, sodas and coffee can all have natural and added sugars in them, and can also be acidic, which puts your teeth at a higher risk for decay. Chewy foods are more likely to stick in the grooves of your teeth, so crunchy foods (think nuts) or dairy (think cheese sticks) make great snacks in-between meals.
- Rinse! We know that it’s not always possible to brush and floss throughout the day or eat perfectly. So, while you are sipping your coffee or your soda at work, be sure you are drinking water in between. Rinsing with water throughout the day is a great way to allow your mouth to return to it’s normal pH level and try to rinse away some of the debris from lunch(or that pick-me-up snack/coffee!). You can also try chewing some sugar free gum to help remove debris and freshen your breath while out and about all day! Gum with xylitol like this one from Walmart or this one from Thrive Market offer a ‘one-up’, as xylitol has been proven effective in reducing the risk of cavities … even better!
Ultimately, your daily eating and brushing habits will make the biggest difference in how often you will get cavities. By taking the time and making a few changes to your habits, you can make a positive impact on your oral health. And, as always, if you ever have a question about your teeth or oral health, don’t hesitate to ask any of us at Grand Avenue Dental Care!