Although tooth cavities are commonplace, they are nothing to ignore. No one really wants a cavity yet half of Australia’s population live with untreated cavities. A large tooth cavity may be the end of the road for a tooth, unless it receives major restorative dental work. Treat your teeth with a little more care and attention, and you’ll keep them for life.
By following the following tips over the Xmas period (and for the rest of the year!), you can reduce your risk of getting cavities and avoiding further oral complications:
- Brush the hard- to-reach areas of your teeth. Most people typically clean the tooth surfaces they can see in the mirror, and fail on the areas that are out of sight or reach. Pay more attention to cleaning the back of your molars, in-between your teeth and the pits and grooves on top of your molars.
- Avoid consuming sweet, sticky foods and drinks for long periods. If you’ve ever spilled some soft drink on the floor, you’d have noticed that after it dries, it’s really sticky. The same thing happens on your teeth and it’s not easily rinsed away by saliva, especially if it settles in a groove or crevice. If you really have to consume sweet foods and drinks, do so in a short space of time and resist the temptation of sipping or munching for extended periods)
- Rinse your mouth out with water after snacking on refined carbohydrates or sweets. Otherwise, your teeth will be coated continuously in a sticky residue that bad oral bacteria love. It doesn’t take long for plaque to develop. Light brushing is beneficial after half an hour.
- Ensure you have fluoride in your toothpaste. Fluoride is an essential part of your tooth enamel which is your tooth’s protective layer. Other sources of fluoride include fluoride mouth wash, fluoride dental treatment and drinking tap water.
- Ensure your mouth is adequately hydrated. If it’s a hot day and you notice your lips are dry, then it’s a good bet that your oral cavity is getting dry also. Bad oral bacteria love a dry mouth because they can remain undisturbed and develop fast in these warm, slightly moist conditions.
- Visit your dentist for a check-up and professional clean regularly. If you have missed any hidden plaque, your dentist won’t. They make sure it’s 100% removed and can polish your tooth surfaces, making it harder for plaque to reform temporarily.
- Consume foods and drinks that benefit the health of your teeth. That includes most low-sugar fruits and vegetables with a lot of fibre to help “scrub” your teeth clean naturally. These foods can also balance your oral micro-biome with more good oral bacteria and less of the bad type. Other foods and drinks that have orally protective effects include cheese and green tea.