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6 Surprising Ways that You Can Fend Off Cavities

Posted on 11/13/2015 by Thomas Mahar
A woman about to chew a piece of sugarless gum.When it comes to preventing cavities, most of us know that we need to brush and floss regularly in order to keep our teeth clean and prevent decay. However, these aren't the only ways that we can fend off cavities and keep our mouths healthy. In fact, there are some surprising methods that you can try in order to minimize the likelihood that you develop a cavity.

Using a Straw

It is common knowledge that sugary drinks and beverages with high acid content aren't good for our teeth, but that doesn't mean that you need to eliminate them from your diet for good. In fact, the solution could be as simple as using a straw. A study completed at Philadelphia's Temple University has shown that damage to healthy teeth can be minimized by sipping on a straw, especially if you make sure that the straw doesn't actually touch your teeth, as the drink won't actually come into contact with your enamel. While you shouldn't use this as an okay to drink large quantities of soda, as high calorie content and other issues are also at play, but a straw can serve as a great defense against cavities.

Drinking Wine

Wine often gets a bad reputation when it comes to dental health, as it is a major culprit in terms of leaving unsightly stains on the teeth. However, the components found in both white and red wine are thought to fight bacteria that can lead to cavities and tooth decay. While the studies have been promising, more research is needed to better understand how wine can improve oral health, as it is important to see how the specific chemicals in wine interact with the biofilm surrounding each tooth.

Eating Cheese

Many dental researchers believe that a protein contained in cheese known as casein has protective properties for the teeth. This could help with the prevention of cavities, as research has indicated that the calcium levels of the mouth will increase after consuming cheese. Since teeth are partially made of calcium, increased calcium levels in the saliva could help to re-mineralize the teeth while preventing cavities.

Choosing Sugar-Free Candy

From a young age, we are taught that candy should be avoided completely in order to keep our teeth healthy and free of cavities. Sugar-free candy holds the potential to prevent cavities, and most dentists agree that it doesn't hurt the teeth as long as it is sweetened with xylitol. Many hard candies and suckers currently use this sweetener, and it can be used to prevent both tooth decay and cavities.

Snacking on Raisins

Raisins have long been perceived as a major cause of cavities, but it turns out, this dried fruit has similar benefits to wine. Researchers have found that flavonoids and polyphenols found in raisins can actually fight the oral bacteria that can lead to cavities. It is important to consider whether that potential cavity fighting properties of raisins can outweigh the cavity causing properties that result due to the high sugar content and stickiness.

Chewing on Gum

Chewing on sugar-free gum is a longstanding recommendation for avoiding cavities. Options that contain xylitol, which is a natural sugar substitute, will be your best option, as this compound is highly effective at fighting cavities and preventing decay. The bacteria that will cause decay can't utilize xylitol for growth, and it cannot be metabolized to create acid. However, you should be sure to limit your consumption for a total of five grams of xylitol per day, and verify that this substance is the first ingredient listed on the gum package to be sure you are getting the best possible benefit.

Please contact us if you have any questions about your oral health.

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