how to naturally prevent tooth decay

How to Naturally Prevent Tooth Decay

Good oral hygiene is an effective way to prevent tooth decay before it can cause cavities and other damage to your teeth. However, brushing and flossing aren’t the only things you can do to keep your mouth healthy. There are plenty of natural methods you can combine with your daily routine to offer your mouth better protection from tooth decay. We want to help you maintain a healthy smile between appointments at Lifetime Family Dental, so we put together this guide on how to naturally prevent tooth decay.  

How to Naturally Prevent Tooth Decay at Home

1. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

The harmful bacteria in your mouth are bad enough for your teeth on their own, but they can cause even more damage when combined with sugar. Bacteria feed on sugar to produce acid, which wears down your tooth enamel. This damage is what causes the tiny holes in your teeth called cavities, and it can also lead to gum disease, tooth abscesses, and tooth loss. 

Candy, cookies, sodas, and other sugary foods or drinks expose your teeth to sugar for long periods of time, especially if any pieces of food get caught in your teeth. It’s best to avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar altogether, but that isn’t always realistic. Try reducing your intake of sugar and drinking water after you enjoy foods and drinks that are high in sugar to minimize the damage.  

Although good oral hygiene is extremely important, brushing your teeth immediately after consuming sugar can actually cause more damage. The acids take time to neutralize, so brushing too soon may just spread the acid around to other teeth. Make sure to wait 30 minutes after consuming sugar before brushing your teeth. 

2. Eat a Mouth-Healthy Diet

While some foods can certainly cause tooth decay, there are other foods that can help prevent it. Look for foods and beverages that are high in the following nutrients to help you build strong teeth and gums: 

  • Calcium helps remineralize your teeth to strengthen your enamel. Milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, and almonds are all good sources of calcium. 
  • Fiber helps your mouth naturally fight off tooth decay by increasing your saliva production and flushing food particles out of your mouth. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables include apples, carrots, pears, and avocados. 
  • Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so it’s important to add orange juice, fatty fish, and dairy products to your diet. 
  • B vitamins and iron help keep your gums strong and healthy. These nutrients can be found in whole-grain foods like brown rice and certain cereals. 

3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that makes your teeth less vulnerable to demineralization. Regularly brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste will ensure your teeth are strong enough to fight off cavities. 

4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal can help remove food particles from your mouth and prevent tooth decay. Sugarless gum often contains xylitol, which also helps prevent tooth decay by increasing saliva production. Making a habit out of chewing any kind of gum, however, can wear out your jaw muscles and lead to a TMJ disorder. 

Is It Possible to Get Rid of Cavities at Home?

There are plenty of natural remedies to prevent tooth decay at home, but there are no at-home treatment options for tooth decay. If you have cavities or other damage caused by tooth decay, only a professional can treat the problem and restore your smile.

Cavity Treatment in Gilbert, Arizona

If you are suffering from tooth pain or sensitivity, don’t hesitate to contact Lifetime Family Dental. We provide a variety of dental services that will treat the damage from tooth decay and leave you with a beautiful, healthy smile. Call 480-558-4331 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/9/2022). Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels