Did you know that the health of your teeth is similar to a system of checks and balances? The pH of your mouth must remain balanced because an acidic pH can lead to decay and the breakdown of your tooth’s enamel.
There is also a system of checks and balances among the bacteria within your mouth. There are actually beneficial and good bacteria in your mouth that help to break down your food. Likewise, there are also not so healthy bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease. When the invasive and disease-causing bacteria grow in numbers and crowd out the good bacteria is when dental problems arise.
There are many ways that you can help to reduce the bacteria in your mouth from getting out of hand. Many of these things involve simple habits that you can do each day to keep the environment in your mouth healthy and less likely to get decayed.
Here are a few great ways to reduce bacteria and keep your mouth healthy:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Swish with a anti-cavity or antibacterial mouthrinse
- Keep up with routine dental check-ups and dental cleanings
Strengthening Teeth To Fight Against Cavities
In addition to reducing the number of bacteria in your mouth, you can also work to strengthen the enamel of your teeth. The enamel layer of your tooth is your tooth’s main defense against cavities. The enamel layer is the strongest substance in your body and it can uptake minerals to make sure that it stays strong.
Here are a few easy ways that you can help to strengthen your teeth:
- Take a daily magnesium supplement. Magnesium helps to make strong teeth and bones.
- Getting enough sunlight is important as this is how your body absorbs effective levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is also known for building strong teeth and bones.
- Getting daily calcium through food and milk products is also great for your teeth.
Expose Your Mouth To Xylitol
In addition to brushing and flossing, xylitol exposure has been proven to reduce the bacteria in your mouth and thus reduce your chances of decay.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is added to some dental products and also some candy. It is derived from birch bark and is sweet in flavor. Xylitol works by inhibiting bacteria’s ability to grow. The bacteria that cause cavities can not grow with xylitol, thus using xylitol over time will change the quality of bacteria in your mouth to be less cavity-producing bacteria.
The trick with xylitol is that you do need several exposures of it throughout the day for it to be most effective. It can be a good rule of thumb that when you eat and can’t brush afterward, that you should use xylitol as it will help to inhibit bacteria from growing and being able to create an acidic environment in your mouth.
There are several great ways to get your xylitol exposure throughout the day:
- Chew xylitol gum
- Suck on xylitol candies or mints
- Brush with xylitol toothpaste
- Swish with xylitol mouthrinse
Much can be done to prevent cavities and it often has to do with daily habits. Taking a few minutes each day to care for your teeth will do wonders for the long term health and prognosis of them. What do you do to prevent cavities from forming in your mouth? Please let us know in the comments which of these tips you have found most helpful.
Discuss how quickly tooth decay occurs and what you can do to prevent it from getting worse. Besides just brushing and flossing, can patients do more for their oral health?