Daily tooth brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups are some of the most important things you can do to fight cavities, but they aren't the only things that you can do. Some people are more prone to cavities than others due to health reasons, heredity, or other factors. If all of your brushing doesn't seem to keep the cavities away, or if you want to be extra sure that you don't develop any, take a look at a couple of simple changes to what you eat and drink that can help keep the decay away.
Serve Cheese With Your Meals
Cheese is a dairy product, and you probably already know that dairy products contain calcium, which is important for building strong bones and teeth. That's definitely a good reason to include cheese into your regular diet, but it's not the only reason. Including cheese with your meals can actually help fight cavities in a more direct way.
Studies show that cheese can prevent acid erosion from harming your enamel by increasing the pH level inside your mouth. Your mouth's pH level is somewhat acidic as it is, and many foods and beverages drive the pH level lower. When it drops too low, your teeth are at risk of acid erosion, which weakens your enamel and can lead to decay. But cheese helps bring the pH level back up, and the effects of cheese last for about 30 minutes.
This is important because brushing your teeth too soon after eating something acidic can end up just spreading the acid around, endangering your teeth even more. However, you don't want to let the acid just sit there either. Eating cheese with your meal buys you some time, and by the time the effects of the cheese have worn off, it's safe to brush.
Cheese also contains casein phosphate, which helps strengthen your teeth. You don't have to eat a lot of it to get the tooth-protecting benefits. A third of an ounce will do. Just intersperse bites of cheese with your food and drink, and make sure to end the meal with the cheese.
Stop Buying Bottled Water
Staying hydrated is important for your body's health, and it's good for your teeth as well. In fact, water is the safest and healthiest beverage you can choose for your teeth since it's free of sugars and acids, and it helps your mouth produce the saliva that washes away food and bacteria that could cause tooth decay. But if you're primarily drinking bottled water, you're missing out on an important component that could help strengthen your enamel and help you resist decay: fluoride.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, which can help your teeth resist cavity-causing bacteria. And in most of the United States, it's added to the local tap water. This means that you don't need to do anything special to access the benefits of fluoride — just put your glass under the tap and fill it up.
However, bottled water does not necessarily contain fluoride, and even if a particular brand does contain it, there's no guarantee that it contains enough to be effective. To get the full benefits of fluoridated water, it's better to drink straight from your own tap. Unless your local water is unsafe for some reason, you can fight cavities by investing in a reusable, refillable water bottle and taking the bottled water off of your grocery list. This will also save you money, and it's an environmentally friendly choice since it cuts down on the number of empty plastic bottles you have to throw away.
At your next dental checkup, be sure to discuss your diet with your dentist. Your dentist may have other suggestions about how you can change what you eat and drink to create a more tooth-friendly diet. Check out websites like http://www.mysunshinedentistry.com/ to learn more.