How to Help Prevent Tooth Decay (Cavities)

How to Help Prevent Tooth Decay (Cavities)

A good oral-care routine can empower you to show off your healthy smile with confidence. Here are a few tips to help keep your whole mouth free of cavities and tooth decay. And don’t forget that regular checkups can let your dental professional monitor and minimize the risks of decay and cavities by detecting them early on.

The Basics Are Best

In the fight against cavities, following a good daily oral-care regimen is the best course of action. It’s worth noting that decay might be reversible with regular brushing and fluoride. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources.1 An anti-cavity fluoride toothpaste and electric toothbrush are powerful tools for getting the most out of your routine.

  • Find the right toothbrush for you.Oral-B® Electric Toothbrushes have perfect options for everyone from teens to adults.
  • Brush for two minutes, twice a day. Spend at least 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and rinse. Fluoride has been proven to enhance dental health.
  • Don’t forget to floss. Remove food particles and plaque that brushing may miss.

Want to Do Even More?

A few simple lifestyle adjustments can have big payoffs for your dental health.

  • Monitor what you eat. Reducing decay depends on a well-balanced diet. Think twice about high-sugar or heavy-starch diets.
  • Get your greens. Dark, leafy fruits and vegetables add calcium and reduce acids in saliva.
  • Stay hydrated. A dry mouth allows plaque to be retained in the mouth. Drink plenty of tap water that contains fluoride.
  • Watch coffee, soda, and alcohol intake. Ingredients in certain liquids and foods discolor the tooth surface, and too much phosphorus depletes calcium.
  • Take supplements. Vitamins C and D help support tooth and bone health. Check with your physician before taking any supplements.

How Can My Dental Professional Help?

Visit your dental professional for a checkup twice a year. Having a professional cleaning and polishing not only keeps your smile bright, but it is also an opportunity to have stubborn plaque and tartar removed. A thorough visual exam will reveal small issues before they develop into bigger ones, and X-rays show potential problems that the naked eye can’t detect. And don’t forget—your dental professional is also a great source of advice about the best oral-care products for you.

1 NIH.gov