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Top 10 Tips to Prevent Cavities

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They’re painful and they can be expensive to treat, but cavities don’t have to creep up on you. The Kelowna dental clinic Okanagan Smiles has some simple tips you can use to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

#1: Brush, brush, and brush once more.
Dentists suggest brushing at least twice a day. Three times would be great. Brushing is crucial, especially after eating sweet foods, because your teeth need to be cleaned of the food that builds up to become apartment buildings for the bacteria that produce acid and cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.

#2: Floss a lot too.
The unfortunate truth is that food just gets stuck between your teeth, and brushing covers only 3 of 5 surfaces of each tooth. Left there, that food will rot your teeth and lead to cavities. What’s our $3, 30-second solution? Flossing. Now there’s also a great alternative to flossing too.

#3: Choose healthy foods and drinks.
Soda is out. Juice and coffee too, if you can. Between the high sugar content and the acids that are in these drinks, your teeth don’t stand a chance. If you can’t give up your cola or caffeine habit, try to at least drink less as well as make sure you brush and rinse afterwards. As for foods, try to avoid processed foods containing refined sugars, such as cookies, and choose calcium-rich snacks like cheese instead. The group of people we see with the most new cavities are college students who are constantly drinking coffee and energy drinks. The incessant bombardment of sugars and acids on their teeth give their saliva very little time during the day to re-build the enamel after the acid attack. This leads to students getting cavities much easier.

#4: See your dentist regularly.
In the dentist’s chair, your teeth are going to get the Cadillac of cleanings. Plus, at the dental clinic, you’ll find out if there are any problems you can’t see on your own. Your Kelowna dentist can spot signs of cavities and tooth decay so you can prevent problems from getting worse.

#5: Ask for sealants.
Your family dentist will probably recommend this proven cavity prevention tool. Think of a sealant as a jacket for your teeth—its plastic protects the chewing area of your molars so those nooks and crannies can’t collect food and host bacteria that cause cavities.

#6: Clean your brush.
The same bacteria that can cause cavities by setting up camp on  your teeth can do the same by parking on your toothbrush. What’s the solution? Disinfect your teeth a few times a week by soaking it in boiled saltwater for about a minute. It’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush often, even monthly. And of course, preventative supplies are always free at your appointment at Okanagan Smiles Dentistry.

#7: Rinse off.
Really want to kill plaque? Use an antimicrobial mouth rinse right after eating and along with brushing as part of your daily routine.

#8: Go for tea.
Black and green tea are also great tools to fight plaque as well as reduce the level of bacteria in your mouth.

#9: Time your treats.
If you must have a chocolate bar, for example, eat with a meal so your teeth aren’t going for hours exposed to acids that destroy tooth enamel.

#10: Chew gum.
Some sugarless gums are great for preventing cavities because they increase saliva flow in your mouth. Xylitol gums are already very popular in Asia and the sugar substitue is great for blocking the ability of bacteria to damage your teeth instead of feeding the bacteria like sugar does.

Whether you’re visiting us for cosmetic or general dentistry, we provide a comfortable experience with results that will last. Contact us to book an appointment today!

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