Stop Getting Cavities

The last post discussed how acid causes cavities in a variety of ways. With this post, I would like to share simple ways to reduce acid in our mouths. First and foremost bacteria are everywhere, including our mouths. To prevent cavities, reduction in acid-producing bacteria is key. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleaning are critical to reducing bacterial counts and breaking up bacterial colonization. Additionally, chewing sugar-free gum after a meal captures up to 10 million bacteria in a single stick of gum. If xylitol is the number one ingredient, even better. Xylitol is antibacterial, aiding to reduce bacteria even more!

Acid from the food we eat influences the bacteria in our mouths as well. An acid environment can convert a non-acid-producing bacteria to an acid-producing bacteria. By limiting meals, beverages, and snacks to every three hours allow saliva to rebound from an acidic attack and remineralize weakened tooth structure.

Lastly, rinsing with an alkaline mouthwash allows the acid to be neutralized before brushing with your toothpaste of choice. (A quick note on fluoride. When fluoride is incorporated into the tooth, it becomes more resistant to acid, preventing demineralization and the formation of cavities. I highly recommend using toothpaste that contains fluoride.)

Follow these simple steps diligently and your dentist will be able to report no cavities at your next dental visit and for years to come!