How to Prevent Cavities: 9 Essential Tips

If you want to have healthy teeth and gums, cavity prevention should be a top priority. This guide has nine tips on how to prevent cavities.

Over one-quarter of Americans ages 20 to 64 have untreated dental decay. This can lead to gum diseases, cavities, and other illnesses. 

Are you wondering how to prevent cavities? There are many easy and helpful tips and tricks that you can start using today that will lead to healthier teeth.

Keep reading on for nine tips on preventing cavities. 

1. Don't Forget To Brush

It may seem like something you have heard time and time again since you were a little kid: did you remember to brush your teeth?

Well, turns out that a little bit goes a long way. Brushing teeth is one of the most important things you can do each day for preventing cavities. The recommendations come from the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA). 

Per the ADHA, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day for up to two minutes. 

2. Take Care of Your Toothbrush

The type of toothbrush you have and how often you replace it can help lead to healthy gums and prevent cavities. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can actually cause more damage to your enamel and harm your gums. 

You should also be mindful of how long you have used your toothbrush. Dental hygiene starts with having a clean toothbrush in the first place. If it has been longer than three months then toss out that old brush. 

Cold season is upon us - make sure you are also replacing your toothbrush after any illness or sickness.

3. Floss Daily

How often do you floss? This is a question you often hear from your dental hygienist as they are actively working on cleaning your teeth. You may pause in fear - knowing that he or she can tell you haven't been flossing for months. 

The truth is, it may be another step to your nightly routine, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to preventing cavities. It also helps keep your gums healthy. 

Researchers found that those who brushed their teeth and flossed regularly had reduced their risk for gum disease and gingivitis. When researchers looked at the group who just performed teeth brushing alone, the results weren't as significant. 

The moral of the story - don't neglect one or the other. Make sure your floss is set up right next to your toothbrush each night. 

4. Watch the Sugar

The way sugar reacts in your body can lead to unhealthy teeth and forms of dental disease. There is an important distinction here: sugar itself does not cause cavities. 

However, some acid gets produced by sugar reacting with bacteria in your mouth. In return, the acid breaks down your tooth's enamel. 

Enamel is the protective layering that you can visually see on your teeth. Once that layer gets worn down, it can decay and cause a small hole in your tooth. As the hole grows larger, it creates more problems and dental diseases. 

Your saliva acts as the neutralizer in this scenario by rebuilding healthy enamel layers. If you eat too much sugar, this process can get thrown off and it can lead to tooth decay. 

5. No More Coffee?

Sugary drinks are known to be one of the suspected causes of cavities. But what about your morning cup of coffee?

If you take your coffee with cream and lots of sugar then you are essentially putting yourself into the category of high-sugar intake. The sugar in this mixture can put you at a higher risk for cavities. 

Black coffee is known to be healthier for you as a whole. However - it is more acidic and has the potential of breaking down your enamel. If you are chugging black coffee all day long, your risk might be higher. 

You can work towards cavity prevention by brushing your teeth after you have drunk your morning cup of coffee. This helps also helps prevent stains or discoloration. 

6. Use Some Mouthwash

Uh oh - is this another step to your nighttime routine? Don't worry, mouthwash will take thirty seconds or less and can leave you with much healthier teeth. 

Using mouthwash daily can help promote healthy teeth by reducing your risk of:

Ask your dentist about which type of mouthwash they recommend or look for the American Dental Association's (ADA) stamp of approval.

7. Healthy Diet

Good nutrition not only helps you feel and look better, but it is one of the most important steps you can implement for your dental hygiene. You should make sure you are getting enough protein and the recommended daily intake of vitamins. 

These two factors play a critical role in the health of your teeth. When you go to the grocery store, check out foods high in calcium, protein, fiber, and water content. 

This includes healthy animal byproducts, vegetables, and fruits. Keep in mind - citrus fruits can be more acidic which leads to enamel decay (just like coffee), so try and mix things up a bit. 

8. Buy Sugar-Free Gum

Yes - even the gum you chew could be leading you down a road filled with cavities. This is only if you chew gum that has sugar in it. 

Gum that has Xylitol can actually work towards reducing harmful bacteria in your mouth that causes plaque build-up and cavities. Again - look for gum that has the ADA stamp of approval for the healthiest options for your gums and teeth. 

9. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Last, but most importantly, visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings can help prevent gum diseases and cavities. 

While brushing, flossing, and following other guidelines can help, deep cleanings are critical to the overall health of your teeth. 

How To Prevent Cavities

There are many steps you can take for keeping your teeth healthy and clean. If you have additional questions on how to prevent cavities, then follow up with your local dentist for more suggestions.

Visiting a dentist ensures that your teeth are on the right track and that you aren't at risk of damaging gum diseases. While you're at it - be sure and request an appointment through our website to get scheduled today.

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