According to the CDC, tooth decay in American children is five times more prevalent than child diabetes. Some studies even link the two diseases, making one more likely if the other one is present. While good eating habits can go a long way towards preventing both cases, proper brushing habits are essential as well. And the younger you can start your little brushers, the better. Here are some hand...
Cavities are no fun. But you knew that. Remember those scary pictures the dentist showed your fourth grade class of what your mouth could look like if you stopped brushing? Yuck. Nobody wants that. The good news is that with a little effort on your part a couple times a day, you can avoid becoming the next scary photo and enjoy a filling free mouth. Preventing cavities is all about reducing the amount of acid that can build up on teeth and break down enamel and can be simple, as long as you follow a few dental hygiene rules. So, just in case you were to disturbed by the photo to listen as your dentist explained how to prevent a cavity, here’s a crash course.
You know what it is before you read it. Brush your teeth. To prevent cavities, brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Do one better by brushing after every meal. Start in the back, brushing all sides of each tooth to get rid of all the icky food buildup on the surface of your teeth. When that food interacts with the plaque on your teeth, cavity causing acids can form and begin the process of riddling your teeth with cavities. Four minutes a day is worth it.
Floss. And not just for the first month after your cleaning. Remember how that food teams up with plaque to create acids that break down enamel? Well that food likes to hide from your toothbrush in between your teeth. Flossing every day helps prevent cavity formation by getting that sneaky food out of there.
Watch what you eat. The two biggest culprits for acid formation are starches and sugars, both of which are found in large quantities in unhealthy foods. Sodas, candy, potato chips, and all those other sweet and greasy foods we love to hate and hate that we love are not aiding the fight to prevent cavities. Cut back, or even better, cut them out to prevent cavities.
It’s not just for keeping your breath from knocking out passerby. Antimicrobial mouthwash can reduce plaque and can help prevent cavities when used after brushing or after eating.
Go see that fabulous dentist who taught you how to prevent cavities in the first place. Regular check ups and cleanings can not only help to prevent cavities, but can help detect them quickly should the unfortunate need arise.
Preventing cavities isn’t just part of maintaining a pretty smile. Cavities can become painful when left untreated, and the process of filling them is much less painful than the process of preventing cavities in the first place. So, don’t become the mouth in the scary dentist picture. Preventing cavities is worth it.