Remember dental checkups when you were younger? The only thing that mattered was finding out “Do I have any cavities?” As we get older, life gets more complicated. We stop thinking about cavities and start thinking about everything else.
Even though we have other things to think about, cavity prevention is still vital to a healthy mouth, which translates to a healthier body overall.
A cavity isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Bacteria in your mouth produce acids that literally eat away at the tooth, causing tooth decay. If left untreated, it can lead to infection and tooth loss.
You already know brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and keeping up with regular dental checkups is standard cavity prevention.
In addition to brushing, flossing and seeing Dr. Maloney here in Anchorage at least twice a year, here are six simple things you can do to help lower your risk for tooth decay:
- Rinse between meals: Even if you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water after eating.
- Use a straw: Carbonated drinks weaken enamel (the hard, protective outer layer of your tooth). Using a straw helps keep the drink away from your teeth.
- Avoid sticky foods: That candy bar might taste delicious, but the gooey goodness sticks to your teeth longer, increasing your risk for tooth decay.
- Avoid acidic foods: Acids in foods and drinks weaken tooth enamel for up to an hour after you eat them.
- Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing gum (especially if it contains xylitol) increases saliva, which helps prevent tooth decay.
- Drink more water: Water promotes saliva production and helps remove food particles.
These tips are universal, but if you have specific concerns, Dr. Maloney can provide personal tips and information to help you avoid tooth decay and cavities. If it’s time for a checkup, call us at 907-279-6000 to schedule your appointment in our Anchorage office.