Natural Ways to Prevent Cavities

If you’ve ever heard those dreaded words “you have a cavity,” you automatically begin to stress over of the time and money you’ll be spending over the next few weeks or months. What if you were told that there were ways to help prevent these kinds of incidents- and I’m not just talking about using fluoride at the dentist and brushing and flossing twice a day. I’m talking about the natural ways you can prevent cavities and help keep your teeth clean and healthy.

First of all, what is a cavity? This may seem like a simple question but a cavity can be much more complex than you think. It’s easier to prevent cavities when you know exactly what they are and how they’re formed. Cavities are a type of infection caused by bacteria that destroy the material of the tooth. Everyone has bacteria in their mouths, and it can easily accumulate on the surface of teeth, most frequently after eating. Over time, if not regularly brushed or washed away, the bacteria can form a biofilm film called plaque. Plaque progressively dissolves the minerals on the surfaces of teeth, resulting in small pits that get larger over time—cavities.

Now let’s get into the ways to naturally prevent cavities. As you can probably already assume, people who snack on sweets and who drink acidic beverages throughout the day are  more prone to tooth decay and the inevitable cavity. So aside from avoiding refined sugars and sweets, there are many other easy ways to keep your teeth clean. Here are a few:

1. Nutrition: Make sure you getting enough vitamins A, D, E, and K in your diet, as well as enough calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other key minerals. These keep teeth strong and healthy.

2. Drink Water, Green Tea and Black Tea: Drinking water helps wash away bacteria and teas help reduce plaque build up.

3. Brush after Waking Up in the Morning: This helps clean the bacteria that built up on your teeth the night before. It’s also important to brush before breakfast, especially for people who drink orange juice or any other acidic beverages in the morning. Acidic foods and beverages weaken enamel for at least an hour after consumption, so brushing within an hour after eating or drinking acidic foods can actually weaken enamel and cause permanent damage.

4. Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal helps wash leftover food particles off of the teeth. Try to choose gum with xylitol, a natural sweetener that helps prevent bacteria growth.

5. Foods for Healthy Teeth: These include foods like cheeses, chicken or other meats, nuts, and milk. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralize teeth. Other choices include firm or crunchy fruits (for example, apples and pears) and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars that they contain. Even try organic licorice- it’s been found to fight off bacteria and help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

6. Use a Straw: It’s been proven that using a straw helps keep the corrosive acidic properties of beverages away from your teeth.

7. Clean your Tongue: Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper every morning to remove the tongue plaque that can latch onto your teeth and to help freshen your breath. A major cause of bad breath is the build-up of bacteria on the tongue.

Do you have any other ways that you naturally keep your teeth clean throughout the day? Please let us know!