9 dentist approved hacks to prevent caries
Brushing twice a day is the bare minimum that you can do which will give you maximum benefits. Brushing before bedtime is a must. Use a soft bristle brush which has a narrow head.
Flossing helps in removing anything that is stuck in between your teeth, which, a brush will not remove.
Tongue also plays a very important part in maintaining oral hygiene and bad breath. If the tongue is not cleaned regularly it starts harbouring the bacteria and increases plaque formation, which in turn, affects the gums which hold the tooth in place.
2. Straighten those crooked teeth.
If there are teeth that are mal-aligned ( crowded/tilted/spaced out) it's always better to get them aligned with braces.
It's easier to clean the teeth; if they are visible, easy to reach and in a line. Best time to get your braces fixed is 11 to 12 years of age.
3. Reduce the chance of food lodgement.
If you feel that food is constantly getting stuck in a particular spot, it's time to get it professionally checked.
If a cavity is developing , the dentist will fill it up and this will prevent other teeth from getting affected. Also, a cavity which has just started (is in the enamel) is painless to fill up.
4. Sip water regularly throughout the day.
Water acts as a cleanser and also stimulates your salivary glands to release more saliva, which in turn, helps in remineralization.
Drinking water, especially after a meal, helps in diluting the sugars in the food and not letting it stick to any tooth surface.
5. Choose what you eat.
Sticky carbohydrates are more detrimental than fats, proteins and salts. So, having a well balanced meal (carbs+proteins) will reduce the retentiveness of the carbohydrates.
Polysaccharides are better than mono/di-saccharides. Sucrose is the main culprit responsible for caries( followed by - fructose/ lactose/ galactose / glucose).
Fluoride(usually found in spinach, resins, grapes, potatoes) ,calcium & phosphate and vitamins (A, B complex, C,D) reduce caries.
6. Limit frequent snacking. As you know by now, 'time' is also a factor in the development of caries. So, frequent snacking will result in frequent drop in pH and hence it needs to be avoided. A cheat tip would be, having a sip of water (swishing it all around the mouth before gulping) after each snacking episode.
7. Use a fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride impregnated floss. Fluoride helps in prevention of caries by helping remineralization. But, also excess use, can lead to fluorosis in children. Hence, we dentist recommend fluoridated toothpaste only for kids above the age of 6 years and brushing under supervision of the parents. Fluoride varnish is available at the dental office and can be applied on a half yearly basis to children above the age of 12. You can ask your dentist about it.
8. Do not share your toothbrush with others. Here, sharing a toothbrush is definitely not caring. It can lead to spread of germs and cross infections. Also, always remember to change your toothbrush after suffering from any viral infection (Covid -19)
9. Visit your dentist at least once a year. A dental visit need not be made only when the tooth is hurting. A regular visit to a dentist will in fact maintain your oral health and help in preventing any form of cavities. You should see your dentist at least once a year and if you are prone to caries then every six months is a good frequency.