Five Tooth Decay Prevention Tactics You May Not Have Been Aware Of

Posted on: 4 October 2016

We all know that brushing and flossing are important dental hygiene tasks that help prevent cavities. However, these aren't the only activities you can incorporate into your everyday life that will help keep your teeth healthy. 

If you're looking to go beyond dental hygiene and prevent cavities through your lifestyle habits, you should be aware of the following five things that surprisingly can help fight tooth decay:

Eating cheese

Numerous research studies have shown that consuming dairy products, in particular cheese, helps the teeth in the fight against cavities. 

Dairy contains calcium. Calcium is an important component in teeth, so calcium content is one reason why cheese is good for the teeth. Calcium also contains phosphorus, protein, and a substance called casein. All of these substances play a part in strengthening the teeth overall or preventing the demineralization of enamel that protects the teeth.

One reason why cheese may protect teeth better than other types of dairy products is that it needs to be chewed, unlike milk and yogurt. Chewing stimulates saliva production, and saliva naturally cleanses the teeth and tends to be rich in minerals and nutrients. 

Rinsing teeth after drinking or eating acidic food and drink

One of the biggest culprits for tooth enamel is acid. Over time, continual exposure to acid will cause the enamel to wear away and allow bacteria and plaque to get right up against the surface of the teeth. Eventually, this bacteria may succeed in penetrating the teeth and creating cavities.

Simply rinsing the teeth with water after you drink orange juice or eat a citrus fruit can help protect the enamel and prevent cavities.

Eating crunchy vegetables

When you eat crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots, you stimulate saliva flow in the mouth. This makes it so that eating crunchy vegetables naturally cleanses the teeth without subjecting them to exposure to sugars or other cavity culprits. 

Chewing gum

Chewing gum can help clean the teeth and prevent cavities, but you need to be careful of what type of gum you're chewing. 

Chewing any type of gum will stimulate saliva production, but some gums contain sugar. Sugar in gum can counterbalance the positive cleansing effect of saliva production and detract from dental health.

However, if you chew gum with a sugar replacement known as xylitol, you'll get both the benefits of saliva production and the bacteria-suffocating effects of xylitol in the mouth. Xylitol promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the mouth while combating the growth and proliferation of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities.

Quitting smoking

Smoking isn't just bad for your lungs. It's also bad for your dental health because it encourages the proliferation of bacterial plaque. Bacterial plaque is responsible for not only cavity creation and growth, but also gum conditions like gingivitis. 

For more information, talk to a dentist like