How To Reduce The Risk Of Getting Cavities
If you have teeth, you must read this. I want to share with you my number one tip on how to prevent cavities.
“You have cavities”. Dreaded words no one wants to hear when going to the dentist for a check-up. Believe me, I know. I’ve had patients in tears after finding out that they have yet another cavity. They tell me they brush and floss 2-3 times a day, they avoid sweets, they do everything they’ve been told, but they are still getting cavities. I get it, the most frustrating thing is thinking you are doing everything right yet not seeing any results.
So today I want to share with you my number one tip to avoid getting cavities. This is the same tip I give my patients and I see positive results. Those same patients that were in tears walk out of my office with big consistent smiles when they find out they don’t have any more cavities because they followed this simple tip. No, I’m not going to tell you to brush and floss more like you’ve heard a hundred times before (not to downsize the importance of regular and proper brushing and flossing, but we’ll save that for another time) These tips will help anyone who has teeth prevent cavities, it doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult, male or female. These tips will work and help you greatly reduce your chance of getting cavities and can help in effective cavities treatment in Lake Forest, CA, 92630 and also help you in maintaining good oral care in Lake Forest, CA
Believe it or not, when it comes to your risk of getting cavities, it’s not so much about WHAT you’re eating and drinking, as it is about HOW you’re eating and drinking.
First, a quick science lesson on how those pesky cavities form. If you are not interested in the nerdy science behind cavities, skip to the next paragraph, but if you’re a bit nerdy like me, read on. The way cavities form is quite simple. Cavities form because there is sugar and/or acid around the teeth. However, the body is smart and has a built-in buffer system to combat the formation of cavities. Your saliva has the ability to neutralize those acids that can cause those horrible cavities that make everyone cringe. For example, say you have something acidic like lemon water (the lemon is acidic). Once your teeth have been exposed to the acid which starts the process of cavity formation, your saliva gets to work. it takes your saliva roughly 30 minutes to neutralize the acid that your teeth have been exposed to and therefore, stops the cavity process. So now you might be asking, if it’s that simple, then why do I always have cavities?
This one simple fact is what puts some people at a much higher risk of cavities than others. Remember I said it wasn’t so much about WHAT you eat or drink as it is about HOW you eat or drink. The key is not the AMOUNT of sugar/acid that you are taking in, but how FREQUENTLY your teeth are being exposed to this sugar and acid. The reason this is very important is the more frequent your teeth are exposed to acid/sugar, the less the saliva has a chance to neutralize the acid/sugar. This means your mouth is left in an acidic environment more often which increases the risk of cavities. You are actually at a much higher risk of cavities if you nibble on a bag of carrots for an hour than if you have a candy bar within 20 minutes.
So what does this all mean in real life, and what is considered too frequent, and will you have to give up lemon water? First, no don’t give up lemon water. Second, here are 3 easy rules to remember for how to apply this concept to your real life.
- First, remember anything other than flat water has acid and/or sugar in it. Even carbonated water is acidic because it has carbonic acid in it.
- When it comes to drinking (anything other than flat water) you want to finish drinking within 20-30 minutes of when you start, and try to stick to only 2-3 cups of sugary/acidic drinks a day.
- When it comes to eating, it is recommended to have 3 good meals and 1-2 snack, but again the key is to finish eating within 20-30 minutes. Don’t prolong eating a bowl of pasta over an hour.
But what if you are a sipper or a grazer, or life doesn’t give you the luxury to sit down and finish your cup of coffee within 30 minutes or to sit down and finish a meal within 20 minutes (I know, I have 2 toddlers and it’s nearly impossible for me to sit down for longer than 5 minutes at a time, let alone finish a meal in one sitting) so what should you do. Here are my recommendations.
- If you are a sipper (remember anything other than flat water), for example you finish a cup of coffee or tea within one hour or two, I recommend having frequent sips of water every 10 minutes or so. The water will dilute and weaken the acidic nature of the mouth and reduce your risk of cavities.
- If you are a grazer and life just doesn’t let you sit down and finish a meal in one sitting, then I recommend to also drink more water and to up the flossing and brushing to 1-2 times more than you do otherwise.
There is also a toothpaste that I also recommend and use on my whole family which you can order purchase at your dental office or order it on Amazon. This toothpaste is called MI paste. This toothpaste does 2 important things.
- First it strengthens your enamel so your teeth are more resistant to acids attacks.
- Second it helps increase your saliva so there is more neutralizing activity going on against the acids in your mouth. This product is also great for anyone with dry mouth.
Remember, these are the exact same tips I give to my patients and I have seen the positive results. My whole family also lives by these eating and drinking rules. Hope these tips and tricks help you so your next dental visit for cavities treatment in Lake Forest, CA, 92630 will go smoothly and you’ll walk out of your dental appointment with a smile on your face knowing you don’t have any new cavities. Also, these tips will help you maintain good oral care in 92630 so that you never have to visit a dentist for cavities treatment.