How To Prevent Cavities and Stop Tooth Decay?

Cavities are formed by a three-factor process involving sugar, acids, and bacterial species called Streptococcus Mutans. To stop tooth decay and prevent cavities, you should eat a low-sugar diet, use fluoride, brush twice daily, floss once daily, and stimulate your saliva if necessary. We will explain how to prevent cavities and stop tooth decay with a low-sugar diet, brushing, flossing, and stimulating saliva.

If you want to know more about the cause of cavities, we explored that process in an article you can find by clicking here

How Does A Low-Sugar Diet Stop Cavities?

Countless studies show that the more you remove sugar from a diet, the fewer cavities you have. This is because the process of bacteria in dental plaque converting sugar into acids comes to a halt when you remove sugar from the equation.

Dentists for years have been warning of the destructive effects of sugar; only now is the rest of the health community starting to warn of sugar's other harmful effects. While reducing sugar is difficult for many people, the health benefits only begin with oral health. Low-sugar diets also have been studied to promote anti-aging, better mood, less hunger, less heart disease, less diabetes, and much more. Luckily, we live in a day with so many alternatives to sugar. Learning how to replace sugar is the primary way how to prevent cavities.
Man Drinking coke

How Does Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay?

The pH it takes for an acid to demineralize a tooth and cause decay is called the critical pH. Under normal circumstances, the critical pH is 5.5; anything below that over time will cause a cavity. However, teeth are in a constant cycle of demineralization and remineralization. Your saliva fights demineralization by providing a neutral pH and minerals for remineralization. If your teeth remineralize with fluoride instead of calcium, this will strengthen the teeth against acids. Adequately fluoridated teeth have a critical pH of 4.5. This means fluoridated teeth need a much higher acid concentration to break down their enamel.

A few options to fluoridate teeth have been proven to strengthen them. Toothpaste is the most apparent route to get fluoride remineralization of teeth. There are other over-the-counter options as well, including fluoride rinses and tablets. Dental offices can also apply high concentration fluoride in varnishes and fluoride trays. The most debatable and standard route of dental fluoride is your community's drinking water. While the side effects of fluoride in the water can be debated, the ability of fluoride in oral hygiene products to strengthen teeth is apparent.
Stephan Curve Ph Acid Drop After Meal Demineralization Remineralization Graph Critical pH

How Does Brushing Prevent Tooth Decay?

Dental plaque is the home of cavity-forming bacteria. The process to start tooth decay by that bacteria takes about 24 hours. Therefore, removing plaque at least once every 24 hours is essential in preventing tooth decay. Brushing your teeth is the best way to remove plaque on the exposed surfaces of your teeth. Watch my video on the best oral hygiene routine to see how much plaque you can remove by brushing your teeth and flossing. In that video, we stain all our plaque and then remove it by brushing and flossing.

Brushing also prevents tooth decay through the fluoridation provided by toothpastes.
Brushing Technique Toothbrush How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

How Does Flossing Prevent Tooth Decay?

Flossing prevents tooth decay by removing plaque that is home to the cavity-forming bacteria. While brushing removes plaque from exposed surfaces of teeth, flossing removes plaque between the teeth where plaque and cavities most commonly start.

How Does Stimulating Saliva Prevent Tooth Decay?

Stimulating saliva prevents tooth decay in two main ways. First, saliva buffers the acidic pH caused by cavity-forming bacteria. Second, saliva provides the teeth with minerals essential for counteracting demineralization.

Many people have a condition called dry mouth or xerostomia. Dental products, like Biotene and sugar-free gum, can stimulate saliva after a meal to fight the decay process. However, the most common cause of dry mouth is from taking medications with xerostomia as a side effect. In this case, the best way to stimulate saliva is to talk with your doctor about stopping medications that cause dry mouth. If stopping medications is not practical, then lowering dosages and alternative medications are other possibilities.
Biotene products

Our Favorite Toothbrush

EZZI is our favorite toothbrush for cavities, gum disease, sensitive teeth, and braces. It is for both adults and kids.


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Our Favorite Floss

As shown in our videos EZZI is the best floss for gum disease, plaque removal, and cavity prevention.

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