In recent months, we have seen an increase of tooth decay, especially in teenagers and seniors. Here are a few things our patients can do to help reduce the risk of cavities:
- Decrease snacking and sugar intake. Any food debris left on teeth will eventually break down to a weak acid that can slowly dissolve enamel.
- Processed drinks such as sodas, hydration drinks and even juices that contain a high amount of sugar and are also highly acidic, can also be detrimental to teeth.
- Brush with baking soda or Arm & Hammer toothpaste. This decreases oral acidity.
- If you are taking medications regularly or drink caffeinated beverages daily, you are experiencing dry mouth whether you realize it or not. With less saliva to fight against cavities, you are more prone to getting tooth decay as well. Increasing your water intake to six to eight glasses daily can help to re-hydrate your salivary glands and dilute the acid in your mouth.
- Since most tooth decay occurs between the teeth and along the gum line, practicing better oral hygiene, especially daily flossing, will help you tremendously.
- Topical fluoride treatments such as mouth rinse and professional fluoride varnish can also help to reduce cavities. Fluoride treatments are far less costly than having a cavity filled.
- Finally, use chewing gums that contain Xylitol, an antibacterial agent, as the only sugar substitute.
For more information, visit your Northbrook IL dentist and we will be happy to assist you.