Eat less sugar
Sugar is fuel for cavity formation. Bacteria naturally present in your mouth consume it, and in the process produce enamel-destroying acid. Enamel is the protective, hard coating that covers your teeth – it’s what you see when you look at them in the mirror. Once it’s destroyed, the tooth beneath it will start to decay and cavities will form. Since our bodies can’t regenerate fresh enamel to replace that which has worn down, it’s very important to protect the enamel you have now – it’s your primary defense against tooth decay.
And besides, too much sugar isn’t good for the rest of your body either; ensuring you don’t consume it in excess will benefit more than just your teeth!
Brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day
First, make time to brush your teeth every single night before you go to sleep. This helps to remove any food particles leftover from the day, along with plaque. You need to prevent the formation of plaque because it’s a magnet for the kind of bacteria that causes gum disease and the decay of your teeth.
Second, brush your teeth every morning after you wake up. This will help you start your day with fresh breath – and assuming you eat breakfast in the morning, brush after eating (rather than before) so that you’ll remove the food particles left behind from your meal.
While the ideal is to brush after every single meal, if you can’t, then at the very least brush in the morning when you wake up, and in the evening before bed.
Floss every day
While your toothbrush does a great job of removing plaque from the surface of your teeth, it doesn’t do such a great job of cleaning between your teeth. Floss is the answer. Use it every day to clean between your teeth and not only will you enjoy a lower risk of cavities, but fresher breath too!
Brush your tongue
Some people make the mistake of thinking that since their tongue isn’t prone to cavities, they don’t need to brush it. But it turns out that your tongue can be a home to the bacteria that cause plaque to form. So take a few extra seconds after brushing your teeth to brush your tongue too. Just as with flossing, you’ll enjoy a lower risk of cavities, and – you can see this coming by now – fresher breath as a result.
See your dentist for regular “preventative maintenance”
A little preventative maintenance goes a long way and your oral health will benefit tremendously from seeing your dentist for a check-up on a regular basis. Twice a year is a good schedule for most people, but double check with your dental practitioner to see what the ideal schedule is for your own oral health as some people need more frequent visits than others.
During your routine “maintenance” checkups, you can get your teeth professionally cleaned (they can remove problematic tartar build-up that your toothbrush can’t), get customized tips for how to optimize and improve your oral health, and get a professional-strength fluoride treatment to help maintain the health of your teeth’s protective enamel. If needed, your dentist can also do an x-ray to catch the beginnings of tooth decay before it becomes a big problem – if they find any spots that need more care and attention to prevent the formation of cavities, you’ll be told about it so you can take measures to prevent the area from worsening. And of course, if you do have any cavities, the x-ray can catch it when it’s small and easily dealt with.
Enjoy improved oral health for years
Doing these five simple things will go a long way towards improving your oral health, and helping to ensure that your teeth serve you well for many decades. Don’t delay, start today!