If you are like most people, you are well aware when a cavity has developed – you either see it or feel it. However, there are certain things that many individuals still don’t know about cavities that may help them better understand what to do when they appear and how to prevent them, to begin with.
Not all Sugars are Equal
Everyone knows that eating dietary sugars all the time and a poor oral hygiene routine can lead to issues, such as cavities. This is because the bacteria present in your mouth will feed on the sugars and then excrete acids that cause decay. However, there is one sugar that may be beneficial.
Xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol derived from corn or birch can prevent bacteria in the mouth from converting sugars into acids. Xylitol is available in toothpaste, mints, gum and even in granulated form.
How You Eat may Cause Cavities
Do you graze? Are you always snacking in between meals and never really feel satisfied? It is now known that this type of eating can lead to cavities, as well as other oral health issues.
Each time you eat something with carbohydrates in it, you will be feeding the bacteria in your mouth, which produces more acids. If you are a grazer, the constant eating doesn’t give your saliva enough time to bring the pH of your mouth to a more alkaline and neutral state. It takes approximately 20 minutes to neutralize acids in your mouth after you eat.
This is especially an issue if you sip on soft drinks throughout the day. As a result, it is best to avoid junk food and sugary drinks. If you simply have to have a snack, choose something healthy, such as veggies.
Flossing is Imperative for Good Oral Health
Most people know they need to brush daily; however, when it comes to flossing many people are a bit lackadaisical. This is a huge mistake. Flossing is considered one of the most important (and easiest) things you can do to prevent cavities and decay.
Since the bacteria in your mouth is feeding on the food and sugars present, you need to ensure there is none stuck between your teeth. The only way to do this effectively is by flossing. This will clear away any food and leave nothing in your mouth for bacteria to feed on and subsequently create acids. It is crucial that you floss every day.
A Dry Mouth can Create Cavities
The best defense you have against cavities and tooth decay is your saliva. If you have a dry mouth often, then you need to make sure to keep water nearby to sip on. If that’s not possible, reach for xylitol mints or gum to help get the production of saliva in your mouth kicked into action.
No one wants to have to deal with a cavity. Now you have a few proven ways to help ensure this issue doesn’t arise, but if it does give the staff at Blue Valley Family Dentistry a call!