FROM the Desk of Dr. Kushal Shah
The Most Effective At Home Strategies For Avoiding Cavities, Not Loosing a Tooth, and Having Fresh Breath As Explained By A Dentist.
Everyone doesn’t want cavities, wants to keep their teeth, and have great smelling breath. But unfortunately our only strategies against that are just brush and floss! Well, after practicing for five years, I can say that there’s a lot more to it than that. Here are some of my key insights that may be able to help you!
- Acid breaks down your teeth and gums! The less acidic in your food and nutrition, the more likely you are to keep things healthy in that area. So what does this mean? Make sure you eat alkaline producing foods. For example, cheese is great after an acidic meal or drink since it’s also anti-cariogenic, meaning helps prevent cavities. Incorporate some cheese in your routine. For all you vegans out there that don’t do dairy, that’s fine nuts are great for you too, just make sure they are not too hard.
- Get your bite checked! And wear a night guard. What does this mean? Everyone has a very unique bite, meaning HOW your teeth come together. If they are coming together and causing a lot of pain in your jaw due to you clenching them or grinding while you’re awake or sleeping then they also may be damaging your gums around the teeth. What does this mean? Gum recession, sometimes your gums can recede and expose the softer part of your tooth root called cementum which can be more prone to decay and give you sensitive teeth. So getting your bite checked, calibrating it at your dentist, and possibly even wearing a guard on your teeth can help tremendously.
- Eat more Xylitol- this is basically a plant based sugar that’s actually healthy for your teeth. And it really does taste great! You can get xylitol at your local health food store or market. Try using it to bake cookies, brownies, or anything that you crave that’s sweet! Xylitol helps prevent cavities. You can get chewing gum that has xylitol in there…it’s better than Trident- it’s called Spry. A great strategy is to eat that after a meal to neutralize acid and increase saliva production, both of which prevent cavities.
- Tie a Knot On Your Floss- WHY? Make sure you don’t have small spaces between your teeth. Here’s what I mean by this, ideally, your teeth should touch or “contact” each other side to side. When they don’t, you’ll get food and plaque between your teeth. In time, this contributes to gum loss around the tooth which in turn makes you loose bone in between your teeth. This creates a “pocket” in your gums… that’s what your dentist calls a pocket. These pockets are bacteria traps which eventually make you loose your tooth! So when you knot your floss it gets more of the plaque and bacteria out from in between your teeth. Try it next time. This strategy is just temporarily good since eventually you’ll need to close those spaces up by having them evaluated at your dentist.
- Hydration equals fresh breath- you’re body used the water you consume for it’s necessary functions, so your mouth is the last place that gets hydrated when you are not. So hydrate. Avoid sugar drinks, and carbonation as that tends to dry out your mouth on the long run.
If you use these strategies regularly then you’ll likely keep more of the teeth you have, and keep things feeling great. If you want us to check some of these suggestions for you and evaluate your teeth, come in and see us… we’re pretty good at this stuff and would love to see how we can keep you and your teeth healthy for years to come!
Dr. Shah and the team at Downingtown Dental Studio!