When we visit the dentist, we all hope that we’ve done a diligent job keeping our mouths healthy, but we brace for the possibility of the words “you have a cavity.” While brushing twice a day and flossing regularly are the best ways to avoid hearing your dentist utter those words, there are actually quite a few proactive steps you can take to help ensure your mouth stays in good health! Today, we’re delving into a few of the best ways you can keep your oral hygiene game up between visits to your dentist’s chair!
Take Care of Dry Mouth
As we age, dry mouth impacts us more and more. While this condition may seem like a simple annoyance, dry mouth can actually have a direct impact on the health of your teeth! Saliva helps to naturally wash away food debris and bacteria, and without it our teeth are more susceptible to plaque buildup and decay. To moisten your mouth, make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and consider chewing a sugar-free gum to aid saliva production. In severe cases, prescription mouthwashes may be recommended by your dentist to help!
Brush Before Bed and After Meals
Almost everyone starts their day with a morning brush, but did you know that after mealtimes and before bed are other crucially important times to be brushing away plaque and debris? The food we consume can linger in our mouths, turning to acid and boring holes into our teeth. To avoid this, brush after meals and be sure to brush diligently before going to sleep to ensure nothing lingers in your mouth overnight!
Sugar Should Be Avoided
It’s true what your mother always told you: all that sugar will rot the teeth out of your mouth! Lingering sugar in the mouth is the most surefire way to develop cavities, as sugar quickly becomes acidic and starts to damage enamel. Sticky, chewy candies like gummy worms are among the worst culprits because they cling to teeth long after you’re done snacking, but any high sugar food can have a damaging effect. Be sure to brush after indulging in dessert to help avoid complications from sugar.
Heartburn Can Be A Cause
While it may not seem like your indigestion could impact the health of your teeth, all of that acid churning up can actually wear away your dental enamel if you aren’t careful! Watch your diet, take antacids, or talk to your doctor to try to get your heartburn or acid reflux under control.
Even those of us who are regimented in our oral health are bound to have a cavity every once in a while. Don’t be embarrassed if you develop one, but instead take it as a learning moment to be more proactive about your oral health in the future!
If you think you may be developing a cavity or if you would simply like to schedule a routine checkup, please give us a call at Valley Dental Care of Plainfield to schedule your appointment today!