Dental Blog / Natural Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

Natural Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

We know that brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis are all great ways to keep your teeth clean, strong, and healthy for years to come. 

But maybe you’re curious about natural ways to prevent tooth decay? It turns out that there are some simple steps you can take to avoid tooth issues. We’ve listed a few below to help get you started! 

It Begins with Your Diet

Like other aspects of your health, when it comes to preventing tooth decay, what you eat and drink plays a big role in the health of your smile. 
Which foods and drinks are best avoided as much as possible? Well, you already know that sugar isn’t great for your pearly whites, right? Basically, when you eat something sugary, bacteria in your mouth use the sugar and end up producing acid that then breaks down the enamel of your teeth. That’s why limiting your consumption of sugary foods and beverages is always recommended by dentists. 

But avoiding sugar completely isn’t realistic (and wouldn’t be much fun). If you want to try to avoid tooth decay, consider brushing your teeth right away after having a sweet treat. If you can’t do that, rinsing or swishing your mouth with water is also beneficial. 

In addition to sugar, it’s a good idea to limit refined carbs and starchy carbs, such as chips and crackers, as they can stick around on your teeth, breaking down into sugar, and feeding bacteria that produce damaging acid. Rinsing your mouth with water or brushing after having these foods can be a helpful step in preventing problems before they occur. Simple enough! 

There are a lot of tasty foods that can be great for your smile. When it comes to foods and beverages that are beneficial to your teeth, the list includes:

• Fresh fruits and vegetables that require a lot of chewing and stimulate the production of saliva

• Foods that are high in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus

• Green tea and black tea

• Whole grains

Chew on Some Sugarless Gum

Chewing on sugar free gum that contains a sweetener known as xylitol is another natural method that you can try in an effort to avoid tooth decay. Experts have found that xylitol may help slow the growth of bacteria that can lead to decay. Pretty cool, right? 

Plus, chewing on some gum after you eat is a good way to stimulate the flow of saliva that helps rinse away acid that would otherwise linger on your teeth. But, again, the key is to ensure it doesn’t contain any sugar, so read labels to ensure any gum you buy is “sugar free.”

Try the Ancient Technique of Oil Pulling

Some research has shown that using a simple method called “oil pulling” may help protect your teeth and gums against plaque. So, yet another natural way to fight oral bacteria at home is to take a small amount (we’re talking a tablespoon or less) of coconut oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil and swish it around your mouth. 

All you need is five minutes per day, but if you can swish the oil for longer, go for it. Be gentle as you slowly move the oil around your mouth and between your teeth, and make sure you don’t swallow any of the oil. 

Tip: Rather than spitting the oil down the drain, spit it out into the trash to avoid it clogging your pipes. 

Get Even More Advice from Your Dentist!

In addition to taking steps daily to prevent oral health issues like tooth decay and gum disease, seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings is also necessary. And with the help of high-quality dental insurance, you don’t have to worry about affording the care that you need!

If you’re searching for the perfect dental plan, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace to browse the options that are available in your area, and to easily sign up for the one that fits your budget. Then, with this combination of at-home and professional care, you’ll be on the right track towards keeping your smile bright.