How To Prevent Tooth Cavities

Cavities cause discomfort, both for your mouth _and_ your wallet. Here are a few ways to minimize your risk.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Avoid sticky, sugary foods such as soda and candy.
  • Step 2: Chew gum – as long as it doesn't contain sugar. Gum chewing increases saliva in the mouth, which helps restore tooth enamel.
  • Step 3: Visit your dentist regularly for checkups, so if you do get cavities, they're caught early.
  • FACT: Americans spend almost 39 days brushing teeth during their lifetime.
  • Step 4: Green and black tea help reduce plaque, a sticky substance that coats teeth and weakens enamel. Be sure to drink the tea without sugar or other sweeteners.
  • Step 5: In addition to preventive care, eat plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat milk and other dairy products, and leafy greens like kale and bok choy.
  • TIP: Fluoride is a chemical that incorporates itself into the enamel, strengthening it and protecting you from cavities.
  • Step 6: After brushing, floss between your teeth. This helps remove any bits of food.
  • Step 7: Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill the bacteria that cause cavities.
  • TIP: Dentists recommend brushing and flossing after every meal; if that's not possible, rinse your mouth with water.
  • Step 8: The first line of defense from cavities is brushing twice a day. Use a toothpaste with fluoride and a soft-bristle toothbrush for best results and less abrasive action.

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