Oh how we hate hearing the word “cavity” at the dentist. And we do everything we can to avoid it…. except when we don’t. We often leave the dentist’s office with a renewed conviction to brush and floss regularly and this is good because these two things are on the top of the list of ways to avoid getting cavities. The other big one is avoiding sugar. But what else can we do to avoid getting a tooth filling? Here are some additional little known ways to fight cavities.
SUGAR-FREE GUM AND CANDIES WITH XYLITOL
Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol (a natural sugar substitute) helps in preventing tooth decay because bacteria cannot use it to grow and cannot metabolize it to produce acid. Look on the packaging to see if it is the first ingredient, if it is then chewing gum or consuming mints or even candy with this ingredient three to five times a day will help to prevent cavities.
USE A STRAW
If you love sugary, acidic sodas and aren’t willing to give them up for health reasons, consider consuming them with a straw. This will help to minimize the damage they can cause your teeth. With that said, we still highly suggest cutting down or cutting sugary carbonated drinks from your diet.
Some research has gone into the benefits of casein, a protein found in cheese that actually helps to promote healthy teeth. Calcium levels go up in the mouth after eating cheese and increased saliva calcium helps to re-mineralize teeth and prevent cavities. This is good news if you love cheese!
If cavities have been an issue and you want further help from the dentist in prevention, ask about dental sealants. Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the surface of the teeth that help in preventing bacteria from growing and causing cavities.