There’s nothing worse than the pain that comes from a decaying tooth. But by the time you have a large cavity, you might face a lengthy treatment and high medical bills. For this reason, cavity prevention is the best way to go. Here at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX, we can help you choose natural, effective ways of making sure your teeth stay healthy over the years.
How Can You Prevent Cavities Naturally?
Fortunately, preventing cavities isn’t very hard, and a few simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference to your long-term tooth health. Additionally, you should always work with a great orthodontist because the faulty placement of teeth can be conducive to increased decay. Let’s have a closer look at some of the most effective prevention measures.
Getting Started With Natural Cavity Prevention Measures
To prevent the formation of cavities, you don’t have to ingest chemicals or buy expensive devices. Instead, there are a number of lifestyle habits that can significantly reduce your chance of having dental problems. It’s always important to remember that these measures are cumulative, so their effect builds up over time. While you might not notice a difference today, you will feel much better down the line if you maintain good dental hygiene now.
As your dentist will tell you when you come to the clinic, the basis of good oral hygiene is brushing your teeth regularly, flossing every day, and rinsing your mouth. You can increase the strength of your teeth by choosing products that contain fluoride. Every year, your dentist can check that you don’t have any problems. That way, minor concerns can be addressed immediately.
Ideally, you would brush your teeth with a high-quality toothpaste that contains fluoride after every meal and avoid snacking, especially on sugary foods, in between mealtimes. However, for the sake of simplicity, your dentist will tell you that brushing twice a day is sufficient unless you have exceptionally weak teeth that are prone to cavities.
When brushing, make sure you are reaching all of your teeth and spending at least two minutes on this task. Many people benefit from the use of an electric toothbrush, which can more effectively target the areas that are otherwise hard to reach. Your dentist can help you develop good teeth-cleaning techniques, which include avoiding the gums and using gentle strokes that won’t damage the tissue.
Rinsing and Flossing
Brushing on its own often isn’t enough, and you should add rinsing and flossing to your routine. If you use mouthwash, you are more likely to flush away any bacteria that are still in your mouth, significantly reducing the chance of cavities. You don’t have to use a chemical substance to do this, since there are many natural alternatives that won’t harm you if you swallow small amounts.
If you’re not comfortable with a store-bought product, you can even create your own mouthwash from salt, baking soda, distilled water, and essential oils. To target the sides of your teeth, you will need to floss every evening. That way, there won’t be any remains of food stuck between your teeth, which could cause issues when not removed.
Choosing Foods that Are Unlikely to Decay Teeth
One of the simplest ways of cavity prevention is to choose foods that aren’t likely to cause problems. Fortunately, these are the same foods that are also healthy for your body, so you will be contributing to your overall health when you adopt a tooth-healthy diet. The most important rule to remember is that anything that contains refined sugar is likely to cause a problem.
Eat plenty of crunchy veggies like celery and carrots, leafy greens, apples, pears, nuts, and dairy products. They can all help strengthen your teeth from the inside out, and they won’t cause cavities like chocolate, candy, or other processed foods would. What’s more, they will allow you to easily achieve your target weight and give you an energy boost throughout your day.
A crucial part of remaining healthy is having regular checkups at your dentist’s office. It’s always easier to address issues right at the start instead of waiting for them to spiral out of control. By the time your cavity is painful, it has already reached the nerve and will most likely need to be addressed by your dentist. However, if they catch it very early on, fluoride toothpaste and natural measures can be sufficient to prevent it from developing.
Ideally, you should have one checkup every year, unless you have existing dental problems that require closer monitoring. When you come to see us, we can make sure your teeth are in great shape and give you advice about how to keep them healthy.
Making Sure Teeth Grow the Right Way
Not all teeth are prone to decay, and the ones at the back of your mouth are both harder to reach with your toothbrush and have more grooves that lead to cavity formation. This is one of the reasons why many people have their wisdom teeth pulled out in their youth. Any issues with the way your teeth grow, such as crowding or uneven placement, can contribute to the pain and cavities you develop.
For this reason, it’s crucial that you get orthodontic problems fixed as soon as possible. There are many methods of doing so, including invisible aligners called Invisalign, which can be taken out for eating and brushing and are therefore more convenient than traditional braces. If you suspect that you or your child have misaligned teeth, you shouldn’t delay speaking to an orthodontist and getting the issue fixed, as it can prevent cavities later on.
Get Plenty of Fluoride
One great way to strengthen your teeth is to provide them with plenty of fluoride, which binds together with the calcium and phosphate in your enamel and creates a natural defense system against cavities called fluorapatite. This substance is very strong and much more resistant to decay, which is why people who regularly get fluoride are unlikely to experience significant cavities.
You can purchase toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride. However, it is also present in tap water in many areas, which is why people who always drink bottled water are at greater risk of developing cavities. Before you proceed, check the quality of your local area’s tap water to make sure it is safe and contains high levels of fluoride.
What Are the Symptoms of Cavities?
When you feel the first symptoms of cavities, you shouldn’t delay getting emergency dental care in your local area. Remember, the longer you wait, the more severe the problem, so it’s better to address it straight away. See your dentist when you feel long-lasting or sharp pain on your teeth, swelling or an abscess, increased tooth sensitivity, brown or black staining on your teeth, or visible holes. These could all be symptoms of a cavity and need to be looked at.
Can Cavities Be Healed Naturally?
In some cases, you don’t have to be treated by your dentist when you have a cavity. The first stage of cavity formation is the demineralization process, which is when your tooth’s enamel is exposed to the acid from the bacteria. At this point, it is still possible to fight the cavity naturally by maintaining excellent oral hygiene and providing the area with a lot of fluoride.
If you notice a cavity starting to form or your dentist has told you that you are particularly at risk, pay extra attention to your brushing routine and fluoride intake. Although not all natural cavity prevention products on the market are effective, a dentist or orthodontist can let you know which ones are likely to improve your overall dental hygiene.
Optimize Your Tooth Health with Your Orthodontist Today
Keeping your teeth healthy doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you’re working with a highly skilled orthodontist. You can start by taking care of your teeth every day. Brush after meals, floss once a day, and rinse your mouth if necessary. The diet you choose also has a big effect on your dental health, and a healthy, natural diet is much less likely to cause you problems down the line.
Every year, you should visit your dentist for a checkup, so they can catch cavities before they grow out of control. If there are any problems with the alignment of your teeth, you will need to fix them as soon as possible, since suboptimal tooth placement can put you at greater risk of decay. Get in touch with us now at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX to book your first meeting with your orthodontist and learn more about cavity prevention.