Cheese not only tastes delicious, but also helps protect your teeth by encouraging a healthy oral pH!

Arming yourself in the lifelong battle against tooth decay? It helps to know your unlikely allies. While we’re well-aware that brushing, flossing, and fluoride help cleanse and protect your enamel, there are other helpers that are less obvious. Get acquainted with these lesser-known aids to bring anti-cavity efforts into more moments of your daily life. The end result? A healthy, strong, beautiful smile and great news at each of your dental appointments. It’s time to get cavity-free (and stay that way)!

Surprising Anti-Cavity Options

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The next time you’re sipping on a sweet or citrus-based drink, use a straw to limit your enamel’s exposure to the liquid

  • Black coffee – New research suggests that plain, black coffee may have an antibacterial effect, due to the high caffeine content. But this comes with some caveats – if you add milk, cream, or sugar to the coffee, the caffeine’s effects will be negated. Coffee is also acidic and dark in color, so it can have a negative impact in other ways (by eroding enamel and staining your smile). The bottom line? If you’re a daily coffee drinker, try embracing black coffee and monitoring the long-term effects.

  • Plenty of water – Water is important for every aspect of your health, but gives a special boost to teeth. Not only does it help stimulate saliva and wash away bacteria and acids, it also helps reduce staining of your enamel. If you up your water intake, you’ll find your teeth looking better and yourself feeling more energetic! There’s nothing to lose.

  • The right chewing gum – We’re not recommending that you go out and pick up a bunch of bubble gum. But sugar-free gums containing xylitol can act as plaque-fighting weapons. Xylitol helps encourage saliva production (your own natural cavity cleanser), and also kills cavity-causing bacteria. If you tend to have jaw pain or jaw disfunction, be careful not to chew too long or too often – you could end up aggravating your TMJ.

  • Dairy – Chocolate milk and flavored yogurt are bad options, but plain yogurt and cheese contain tooth-friendly nutrients and help return your mouth’s pH to healthy levels. Sugary and starchy foods are acidic, and create a dangerous environment for your teeth – so choosing plain dairy the next time you want a snack is better for your grin.

  • Straws – The more contact foods and drinks have with your teeth, the greater the effects. By using a straw when you’re sipping on sugary or acidic beverages, you limit the damage and limit enamel exposure.

Reversing the Tooth Decay Process

Stopping cavities isn’t all about complete prevention – there are also ways to reverse the decay process once it starts. Some of the simplest methods include:

  • Fluoride dental products – Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash help remineralize your enamel, and give you a simple way to boost your cavity protection at home. Be sure to use them daily to see the best results – ask Dr. Okamura for specific usage guidelines.

  • Fluoride treatment – If your enamel is especially sensitive or weak, in-office fluoride treatment will give them an extra boost of protection.

  • CariFree – We’re proud to offer our Seattle patients CariFree, a decay-reversal product that offers ongoing protection. If you’re interested, we’ll measure your mouth’s pH at your next exam, and determine which product is best for your unique needs.

Cavities don’t have to be a part of your life. Stop facing down fillings and give your teeth the kind of protection that really works – we’re here to help. Just get in touch with any questions and we’ll be happy to offer guidance!

Seattle Cosmetic Dentist | Cosmetic Dentist Seattle | Cosmetic Dentistry Seattle
Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.