11 Easy Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

May 24, 2016
Tooth decay is prevalent in today's society due to excess sugar in our food. Here are 11 easy ways to prevent tooth decay.

What you eat every day gets deposited on your teeth. If you don’t remove it, it starts to build up and decomposes there, resulting in tooth decay. Children tend to be more prone to cavities thanks to their consumption of sweets. However, adults also need to learn how to prevent tooth decay.

Why do cavities form?

Germs live in your mouth, and when they come into contact with saliva and other compounds like the acids and sugars you consume, they turn into cavities. These form when the acids you consume attack the enamel of your teeth. They weaken them and causing tiny fissures to form.

Tooth decay forms in those gaps as a dark or black spot on the surface of the tooth itself. Tooth decay is not something that can be healed with medication or time. The latter only will worsen your condition.

There is only way to prevent the harmful bacteria from continuing to “eat” away at your tooth enamel. That is by eliminating the damaged tissue, and replacing it with a paste or special amalgam.

All of this is carried out by your dentist. Cavities aren’t dangerous if they are treated in time.  However, it’s always better to prevent them in order to keep your teeth in good health for many years of your life.

A guide to prevent tooth decay

The tips in this article will help you teach your children to prevent tooth decay. To do this you must promote good oral hygiene and thus avoid repeat trips to the dentist.

You’ll save money, pain, and lost time…as well as promoting their better health all around. And by the way, you will also need to follow these tips to the letter and lead by example.

Don’t eat sugar

Two hands full of sweets.
Among the sugary foods you should avoid are a variety of sweets, candies, soft drinks, and anything else you buy in the store that contains processed sugars. They cause damage to your teeth and molars.

Teach your children to eat fewer sweets, substituting fruit for cake and sending them to school with a packed lunch so that they avoid sugary foods.

It’s also important that after eating sweet foods they learn to brush their teeth and always floss. If they’re not at home at the time, they can also drink some water to rinse the sugars out of their mouth.

Eat four meals per day

A healthy breakfast.
If you are eating foods constantly throughout the day, you won’t only gain wait, you’ll also likely experience more tooth decay. Try to limit your food intake to four times a day: at breakfast, lunch, a snack, and dinner. Don’t eat anything between meals and brush your teeth every time you finish.

Keep a good brushing routine

First of all, you should always brush your teeth at least two times a day (when you wake up and before going to bed). If you can, brush them again after lunch.

Good oral hygiene starts with this simple habit. You can keep a small travel toothbrush in your bag or suitcase so there is no leftover food residue in your mouth when you’re away from home.

Remember to floss

A woman flossing her teeth.
Flossing is another great way to remove the remnants of foods that get “trapped” between your teeth and where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing once a day is plenty, as long as you do it at night.

Pay good attention to the place where you store your floss so that it doesn’t come into contact with water or moisture in the bathroom. Use floss whenever you eat cookies, pastries, cereals, or breads – anything that can get stuck between your teeth.

Chew your food well

When you chew your food well, you prevent bits of food from being stuck between your teeth, especially when you’re not at home and don’t have access to dental floss.

Rinse your mouth

A glass of water with lemon.
A great home remedy to prevent tooth decay involves lemon juice. All you need to do is mix a few drops of this citrus fruit with a glass of water and rinse after you brush your teeth. The pH in the lemon juice will help prevent damage to the enamel.

Read more: 5 Wonderful Benefits of Lemon Juice for Our Body

Massage your gums

A great way to promote good circulation is by massaging your gums in a gentle, circular or up and down motion. This will improve your teeth and help you avoid certain diseases, as well as cavities.

Remember that when your teeth are healthy you won’t experience bacteria growth or have cavities.

Drink water

Have you ever wondered why whenever you go to a restaurant you get a glass of water with your coffee, or next to your glass of wine?

This can help improve your breath or eliminate any bad taste you might have in your mouth after consuming these types of beverages, but it also helps prevent tooth decay. The same goes for when you eat very acidic fruits or drink alcoholic beverages.

Don’t go to bed before brushing your teeth

A mother and daughter brushing their teeth.
This is a habit that parents have to instill in their children. Never, under any circumstances, go to bed before brushing your teeth. Remember that bacteria feast on everything you ate during the day as you sleep.

You might be tired, you might have worked hard all day, and you might be about to fall deep into sleep – but it’s worth taking those two minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly in order to prevent tooth decay.

Eat calcium-rich foods

Dairy products like milk and yogurt aren’t the only excellent sources of calcium – green vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli are also great options.

Almonds are another great way to add calcium to your diet. If you’re lactose intolerant, for example, you can make or buy almond milk.

See more: Non-Dairy Foods Rich in Calcium

Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables

A basket full of fruit and vegetables.
Celery and carrots are actually able to cleanse the teeth, because the fibers help remove any leftovers from your earlier meals. Apple peel helps strengthen the teeth, whitening them and removing any leftover particles that accumulate between your teeth.

In addition to that, apples are a tasty dessert that can curb your need for sweets.

  • Pleis, D. (2016). Thirteen Acidic Fruits And How They Affect Your Teeth.
  • Lamont, R. J., & Egland, P. G. (2014). Dental Caries. In Molecular Medical Microbiology: Second Edition. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-397169-2.00052-4