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Four Surprising Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

Westchester cosmetic dentist Dr. Matthew, DDS, MICOI is an expert in performing a variety of dental procedures, including teeth whitening, implant restorations, tooth extractions, and more! At South Bay Smiles, our number one goal is to provide our patients with the best and most effective treatment possible. Call us at (310) 670-0659 to schedule an appointment today!

When it comes to cavities and tooth decay, most people know (or think they know) the basics of keeping their teeth healthy. “Soda is bad for you,” and “candy will rot your teeth” are familiar aphorisms for every young child, and this knowledge sticks with individuals well into adulthood. But did you know that there are other, less well-known methods for keeping your teeth healthy and cavity free? At South Bay Smiles, we have compiled a list of five surprising ways to prevent cavities!

1. Use a straw

It’s well-known that soda isn’t exactly healthy for your teeth. Soda contains acids and acidic sugar byproducts that greatly contribute to tooth decay in patients. These compounds soften the enamel of teeth, making it easier for cavities to develop! However, drinking soda (and other liquids) through a straw can minimize the damage to teeth, precisely because of the limited contact between the teeth and the liquid.

Even though straws can help reduce the formation of cavities, patients should still try to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. However, if you’re absolutely craving a sugar fix, try using a straw.

2. Chew sugarless gum

Studies have shown that sugarless gum can actually help prevent the formation of cavities! Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva, which fights germs and bad breath in the mouth. Sugar-free gum also contains a powerful cavity-fighting substance called xylitol. This sugar substitute fights cavities and prevents tooth decay from occurring.

3. Brush before breakfast

During the night, bacteria forms in the mouth, eventually leading to condition known as halitosis (also known as morning breath). The bacteria that causes smelly breath can also lead to cavities if not treated, which is why it’s important to brush before breakfast each morning! Brushing before breakfast creates a clean tooth surface before you introduce foods and drink into the mouth. And since so many breakfast foods are acidic (orange juice, jelly, etc), brushing your teeth immediately after eating can cause damage to the enamel.

Remember, if you’re planning on eating acid foods for breakfast, brush beforehand! Otherwise, it’s recommended that you wait until 30 minutes after breakfast before brushing your teeth. This buffer time allows for the re-balance of oral pH levels.

4. Eat cheese

It may seem like a strange idea, but eating cheese may help you prevent cavities! Cheese contains a protein called casein, a calcium-rich substance found in many varieties of cheese. This substance is incredibly useful in remineralizing teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to tooth decay and cavities. In fact, casein-derived compounds are often used in tooth remineralization products, including some forms of toothpaste. In a way, cheese is nature’s cavity-fighting food!

Contact Marina del Rey Cosmetic Dentist Today

There are many ways to prevent cavities, but the best and most effective is by visiting your dentist! Westchester dentist Dr. Matthew, DDS, MICOI specializes in identifying and treating cavities in patients. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew, DDS, MICOI, please contact us by calling (310) 670-0659 today!