As a result of the repeated admonitions of dentists, hygienists, teachers and parents alike, just about everyone understands that the consumption of candy and soda is likely to boost the risk of cavities. This is a frustrating reality to those who like their sweets, because not only do they feel at risk of suffering tooth decay, but also substantial guilt.
The good news is that heeding just a few key tips can go a long way toward preventing cavities and fostering good oral health, even in folks who eat more sugar than most.
Though this may sound obvious, there are often times when hectic lifestyles keep people from brushing their teeth as frequently as recommended. In order to maintain clean, healthy teeth, consider doing the following:
Keep a disposable or travel-sized toothbrush on hand day or night. These toothbrushes are ideal for those who are on the run, facilitating quick pit stops for toothbrushing in office, restaurant or other bathrooms. Whenever a sugary treat is consumed, it is easy to steal away for a few minutes to remove the residue from the teeth. There are even disposable products on the market today that come equipped with toothpaste, enhancing the convenience factor.
Swap out old toothbrushes at home with regularity. Those who eat lots of sweet foods face a significant danger of plaque buildup, considering that plaque tends to take hold in the presence of carbohydrates. Toothbrush models that feature advanced bristles and diamond-configured heads are perfect for getting into remote corners of the mouth. Electric or battery-powered toothbrushes are a top choice for many who find them powerful as well as comfortable to use.
If toting a toothbrush and stopping throughout the day to use it is too much to ask, there are some other methods for preventing cavities. Mouthwashes can be helpful in eliminating a good deal of the sugars that remain after eating. Fluoride-containing products are best, but even simple water by itself can make a difference in a pinch.
Sugar-free gums are also useful in eliminating excess sugar from the teeth. Gum boosts saliva production, which works to get sugar off of the tooth surface. Opting for snacks that contain lower amounts of sugar is a beneficial strategy as well. Fruits are good for taming a sweet tooth, but if that does not satisfy, there are other options that still serve to lower the risk of decay.
For instance, certain types of cake are less likely to leave a sticky, sugary residue than, say, a piece of peanut brittle or taffy. Ultimately, the goal when it comes to cavity prevention is to make certain that the mouth does not stay coated in sugar because the sugars form acids, which lead to decay.