With technological advances like quantum computing, algorithms that allow for machine learning, and gene-editing through methods like CRISPR, it’s hard to believe that we still don’t have better ways for preventing cavities. A few scientist around the world are trying to change that; however, in a recent study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, scientist created a substance that can prevent tooth decay by making teeth too slippery for bacteria to latch onto. The inhibitor can block functions key to making the sticky biofilm that lets bacteria cling to teeth.
The study is far from reaching the market, but is something to look forward to in the future. Until then, you’ll simply have to use these three traditional methods for preventing tooth decay.
Less Sugar, More Vegetables
Your mother always told you that eating sugar causes cavities, and she was right, though not in the way you would expect. Inside our mouths are close to 8 billion bacteria. Of these bacteria, there are some that feed specifically on sugar and simple starch. If this group of bacteria grows too numerous as the result of an abundance of food, they begin to attach to teeth and produce an acidic byproduct that erodes tooth enamel, causing cavities and gum disease.
With this information, preventing cavities can be as simple as reducing the amount of sugar you consume daily. According to the American Heart Association, eating less than 25g of sugar can not only be good for your mouth, but it can improve your oral health, as well.
Vegetables can help reduce your cavity risk, too. Crunchy vegetables can help clean plaque off teeth. They also contain high water content, which neutralizes acid in the mouth. Plus, the more you chew, the more saliva you produce. Saliva is a natural antibiotic and contains minerals that help your teeth heal.
Oral Hygiene Habits
The American Dental Association recommends brushing and flossing twice daily in order to prevent cavities and periodontal disease. This can clear out food particles, which will eliminate the food sources of cavity causing bacteria. It can also remove plaque as it forms. Plaque hardens within 24 and 48 hours, so brushing mornings and just before bedtime can be the most effective time to brush.
Brushing, of course, isn’t enough, which is why flossing & rinsing with mouthwash is essential. Flossing allows you to reach food and plaque hidden in the gumline or between teeth, a place where bacteria often hangs out, damaging gums with their by-product. Rinsing with mouthwash allows you to clean those hard-to reach places.
Regularly Schedule Dental Appointments
Oral hygiene habits and diet aren’t the only important steps to great oral health. The American Dental Association suggests getting a cleanings and checkups every six months to remove plaque buildup, and to prevent oral complications from advancing. These appointments also provide the opportunity to speak with a dentist about oral concerns, or even cosmetic concerns regarding the appearance of your smile. Your dentist can often provide an oral cancer screening, as well.
If you are looking for a compassionate, experienced dentist in Butler, then you’re looking for Dr. Bob. Please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.