Preventing Cavities. Tips and Products to Keep Cavities Away.
The number one reason why I am fixing as many teeth as I do at the office is because of cavities. Some of them are big enough to swim in and others can’t be seen when you look at the tooth inside the mouth.
Cavities are something that I always want to help you and your family avoid for several reasons.
1. It can get costly depending on what needs to be done to the tooth
2. No one likes getting numb aka “the shot.” I’ve only met one person in my life that likes needles and he scared me because I promise he isn’t normal.
3. You have to take off time from work or the kids have to take time off from school.
Cavities are something you don’t want to have.
Good news is I have a few things that can help you keep cavities minimal or nonexistent in your family.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using any of the links.
How do I or my kids get cavities?
Cavities happen as a result of the bacteria in your mouth eating the wonderful meal you had and producing acid as a by-product.
Think of it as the bacteria are farting acid after eating. Over time, with all of this acid on the tooth, it beings to break down the toot structure and a cavity forms.
How can I prevent cavities?
The basic way to prevent cavities is by maintaining good oral hygiene. This means brushing morning and night. Then flossing once a day.
I know you hear it all the time, but think that there has to be more to it because you or a family member has had a cavity after following the basic recommendations.
Let me share with you some of the products that I have found effective for my patients in preventing cavities.
Flouride is an important ingredient in preventing cavities. Flouride works to remineralize areas that the bacteria have farted acid all over.
Think of it like this the tooth is like swiss cheese …
The holes in the swiss cheese are areas that have been attacked on the tooth by the bacteria. Plugging the holes in, with let’s say cream cheese, is like the fluoride.
Now that the holes have been plugged in the swiss cheese is a lot stronger. Same thing with fluoride. It helps remineralize areas on the tooth (by plugging in the holes) and strengthening the tooth.
One of the easiest ways to get an extra boost of fluoride is with a fluoridated toothpaste. Now you are asking, “which toothpaste should I use?”
Because there are so many out there to choose from with different flavors, ingredients and added benefits, I always suggest looking for a toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance.
The ADA seal means that the product has been tested and found to do what it claims and provide the benefits it claims. Any toothpaste with the seal is going to work for you.
Look for a toothpaste that has some type of fluoride on the ingredients list.
You can check out the complete list of toothpaste with the ADA seal and see that there is something there for you and the family.
A quick note about a particular toothpaste
A quick note about toothpaste because I want to be transparent with you. I used to be a sold out Colgate Total toothpaste girl. I found that my mouth has that clean feeling hours after brushing and I loved it. The taste is not really minty and I liked that as well.
I stopped using the product the day I was listening to a podcast when I heard a foreign dentist talk about Triclosan. Triclosan is the main ingredient in Colgate Total.
The problem with Triclosan is it is banned in most countries outside of the USA. When I heard this I thought “If it is banned everywhere else there must be a good reason why and maybe I should try using something else.”
Recently, there have been reviews and studies of triclosan in Colgate Total. Colgate Total is approved by the FDA as safe and accepted by the ADA. I want you to know when you are making a decision on what toothpaste to buy.
Another way to help minimize cavities is by flossing. You don’t want to walk around with your Cesar salad wedged between your teeth for weeks.
There is a problem with the food being in between your teeth for a long time:
-it can get pretty smelly
-it can potentially help the bacteria that cause cavities to have a party
-it can irritate your gums
Flossing is an effective way of removing food and debris when done properly. The crazy thing is most people don’t know how to floss properly and that is why it is not effective.
Check out this video on how to floss properly. While you’re at it, make sure to show the kids so that they can get in the habit of flossing properly too.
After brushing and flossing using a mouth rinse is super beneficial. The mouth rinse is able to get into all the nooks and crannies to help keep your mouth clean.
The other awesome part about some of these mouth rinses is that there are some that have fluoride that can help keep your teeth strong.
Make sure to brush and floss first. Then use the mouth rinse as directed on the bottle.
My two favorite mouth rinses with fluoride are Listerine Total Care and ACT.
ACT has a mild taste and they even have a mild bubblegum tasting rinse for the kids.
If the Listerine burn gets to you, they have Listerine Total Care Zero that does not have alcohol that you can try. I am a huge fan of Listerine Total Care because it has so many benefits. In addition to helping prevent cavities, it helps freshen your breath and minimize the bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease.
Gum with xylitol is one of my favorite products to recommend because I usually don’t get too much resistance. The ADA recommends chewing gum 20 minutes after a meal. This helps stimulate saliva to help wash away the food and neutralize the Ph in your mouth.
Chewing gum with xylitol has an extra added benefit. Xylitol is a natural sugar that stops the bacteria from farting the acid on your teeth. This, in turn, helps reduce the chances of getting a cavity.
There are so many types of gum that have xylitol. Remember I stand by products that have the ADA seal. Here are a few different types of gum that you can try with the ADA seal.
Preventing cavities is going to take a little effort. Make sure that you are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, then flossing will help keep you and the family from having a filling in the future. You can add a mouth rinse and chew xylitol gum to help minimize cavities as well.