A healthy smile is a beautiful smile. Most of us want to have that beautiful, healthy smile and we know that keeping our teeth cavity-free is an essential component of our oral health. Whether you have a healthy smile that you want to keep in peak condition or you have a smile that could use some improving, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent cavities. You can make a resolution for better oral health. Of course, it’s common to associate resolutions with New Year’s. The thing about New Year’s resolutions is they’re somewhat artificial. They rely on a fairly random start date to make a major change in your life. If you’re ready to make a change, don’t wait for one day a year to come around, particularly if that change will better your health. Start these 3 things right away to see benefits sooner.
1- Swap out the between meal beverages for water
There’s a delicate balancing act going on in your mouth all the time. When your oral pH is high, your teeth are better protected and can reabsorb minerals from your saliva that build and strengthen tooth enamel. When you eat or drink, your oral pH drops, becoming more acidic. The acid environment strips minerals from the tooth enamel and weakens it. Your oral pH rises over time after eating and drinking, but if you’re constantly putting more acid pressure on your mouth by drinking and eating with only short intervals between, you are setting yourself up for favorable cavity conditions.
There’s no reason to be thirsty, however, in your quest for a cavity-free smile. Swap out your between-meal beverages for plain water, leaving other drinks as meal-time accompaniments. Plain water will not lower your oral pH, leaving those minerals in your enamel where they belong. As a happy side effect, you may see other health benefits if you are replacing less healthy beverage choices with plain water.
2- Switch up your oral care products
It’s possible that your home oral care routine is not working as hard as you are to maintain your oral health. Does your toothpaste or your oral rinse help balance oral pH? Does your toothpaste contain remineralizing ingredients? Are your products sweetened with xylitol to help build oral health, or are they just sweetened? Oral care products that correct pH, remineralize tooth enamel, and have the added benefits of xylitol are formulated to do a better job keeping teeth healthy.
3- Keep dry mouth in check
The thing about dry mouth is that, even though everyone experiences it at some point in their lives, it really shouldn’t be ignored. Dry mouth is a major risk factor for cavity development. Saliva is the protective substance your body makes to protect tooth health. Not having enough saliva leaves teeth vulnerable and unprotected.
If you experience dry mouth, try sipping water. Chewing sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol can provide relief as well. Oral sprays may be an appropriate choice if dry mouth is persistent or caused by medication. Just be sure to select one formulated to relieve dry mouth, not an alcohol containing spray meant just to freshen breath. The drying effects of alcohol can make dry mouth worse.
None of these changes are overwhelming; they are 3 simple steps you can take today to start preventing cavities and improve your overall oral health right away.