How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Nobody wants cavities. They start out small, but if untreated, they only get bigger. The decay spreads and causes serious problems. The best way to deal with cavities is to prevent them from even starting. How? Here are five ways:

1. Watch What You Eat & Drink

All food can cause cavities, because the bacteria in your mouth eat whatever you eat, and create plaque, tartar, and acid. However, certain foods are more bothersome than others. Bacteria loves sugar and refined carbs, so if your diet is heavy with those, you are more likely to get cavities. Nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruit and vegetables are much better for your teeth and your body in general. Raw fruits like apple and celery can even help break down plaque on your teeth before it hardens into tartar. For beverages, water is naturally the best, while drinks packed with sugar (like soda and many energy drinks) are the worst.

man wearing a bathrobe brushing his teeth to prevent cavities

2. Have a Consistent Brushing/Flossing Routine

The best way to prevent cavities is to take care of your teeth and gums through brushing and flossing. We recommend brushing at least twice per day for two minutes each time. Flossing can be a once-a-day habit, so you can prevent cavities from forming because of plaque found in the tiny spaces between the teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too! Lots of bacteria like to live on your tongue’s surface, and if you don’t clean them away, they spread to your teeth. Replace your brush every 3 months or so, since the bristles of brushes wear down and aren’t as effective at cleaning.

3. Use a Toothpaste with Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural element, and it’s been well-established that small amounts of it strengthen your teeth. You can get toothpastes with fluoride or a fluoride rinse to keep your teeth in the best shape possible. If you are at special risk for cavities, fluoride toothpaste and rinses are an especially good addition to your oral health routine.

4. Don’t Chew Tobacco or Smoke

Tobacco products have been linked with increased risk of tooth decay. Studies show people using smokeless tobacco are especially vulnerable to cavities at the gumline. While chewing tobacco raises your risk the most (which makes sense considering the stuff is right in your mouth), smoking is also dangerous for your oral health.

5. Go to the Dentist Twice a Year

After a solid brushing/flossing routine at home and other lifestyle choices that keep your teeth healthy, going to the dentist bi-annually is the best way to prevent cavities. Dr. McCord, Dr. Knox, and the team at Mint Dental Care are here to give your teeth a professional cleaning and catch any problems before they become serious. We can see your mouth and teeth much more thoroughly than you can, and provide expert care and advice on how to keep cavities at bay.

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