Uh oh, your dentist told you that you have a cavity forming during your last visit. Then it might be time to talk about the ways you can reverse tooth decay at home to save your pearly whites.
You only have one set of teeth. Taking good care of them will help ensure they last you for many decades, but poor habits can lead to decay. Once your teeth have gone south, you’ll have to invest in implants or dentures, which can be quite costly.
If you’re one of many people who are scared of needles and drills at the dentist's office, you can take a few easy steps to reverse tooth decay and hold onto that beautiful smile.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Most people know that a cavity is a hole that forms in a tooth, but did you know that this is a process that happens over a long period of time?
Similar to other ailments our bodies incur, tooth decay is the result of bad habits that have developed over the years. The good news is that once we’ve identified the causes of tooth decay, we can stop the process to prevent or even reverse cavities.
Sugars and carbohydrates are the number one culprits in tooth decay. They turn into acids that can create holes in your teeth.
We have hundreds of types of bacteria living in our mouths. Some are very helpful, but others lead to tooth decay.
The harmful types of bacteria cause infections that use sugars in food to make acids. Over time, these acids can lead to tooth decay.
Plaque is your enemy
With time, a buildup of food and bacteria can form on your teeth if you don’t take care of them. This buildup is called plaque. Sugars, carbohydrates, and plaque buildup on your gums and teeth to cause tooth decay.
Plaque builds up more easily in cracks, pits, and grooves in the teeth. You should also be concern about the space between your teeth as well as your gums, which often go forgotten. Most importantly, be aware of the area around any fillings, especially if they are chipped or broken.
Signs and symptoms of a cavity
As your teeth are repeatedly attacked by acid, the enamel will lose minerals. An early sign of tooth decay is a white spot that may appear where minerals are lo.
If you don’t take preventative measures to reverse tooth decay at this point, the enamel will continue to weaken, and you’ll get a cavity.
How Do I Reverse Tooth Decay?
If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of the best practices to put in your routine at home to reverse tooth decay starting today.
Prevention is key
The best wat to prevent or reverse tooth decay is by maximizing your daily basic dental care routine. While this may seem like overly simple advice, it really is the most important step.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each brush. Don’t forget to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the backs and far corners, as well as your tongue.
Be sure to floss regularly to get the space in between each tooth. Food can get built up near your gums and cause bacteria, leading to infections or tooth decay.
Use mouthwash. Mouthwash contains antimicrobial agents to help protect your teeth and reverse tooth decay. Give your teeth a rinse after each brush, but don’t rinse mouthwash away with water.
For best results, you should practice your routine twice a day: when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed of an evening. This way, you can ensure you’re getting all of the acids off your teeth and helping reverse tooth decay.
Arm yourself with the best toothbrush out there
Your number one tool in the fight to reverse tooth decay is none other than your toothbrush.
When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? Dentists recommend that you change your toothbrush every few months because bristles wear down and lose their effectiveness with use.
Unless you are traveling, don’t use a cover on your brush, as they harbor bacteria and microorganisms that can impact your gum health.
Choose a brush with a small or medium-sized head. Be sure the bristles can easily reach the depths and crevices of your molars.
Invest in a quality toothpaste
What good is a sword in combat if you don’t have a trusty shield? To allow your toothbrush maximized results, pair it with an equally-hard-working toothpaste.
The list of kinds of toothpaste recommended by the American Dental Association can seem long and overwhelming. Whether you want a toothpaste that is all-natural toothpaste, has charcoal, promises whitening powers, or rebuilds your enamel to reduce sensitivity, the best ingredient to reverse tooth decay if fluoride.
You can also try a mouthwash that has fluoride to add an extra line to your defense.
It’s all about nutrition
How you eat affects your entire body, starting with your teeth. Anything that goes into your stomach has to pass through these gatekeepers. Maintaining a well-balanced diet will help fortify your little chompers.
Try to eliminate as much sugar as possible from your diet. You should cut down on the carbohydrates as well, as they are foods that contain lots of sugar.
Try to limit snacking between meals when you’re less likely to brush.
Change your chewing habits
If you must chew gum, then opt for sugar-free. Doing so increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, without causing acid buildup. Increased saliva will help wash away any acids that are in your mouth, making it your mouth’s first natural defense to reverse tooth decay.
Consider your beverage of choice
Water is the best choice when it comes to your efforts to reverse tooth decay. If you simply can’t brush your teeth after a meal, swish some water around in your mouth to rinse off your teeth and neutralize any acids.
Using a straw (might we recommend these reusable metal straws) will also help protect your teeth. It draws the liquid to the back of the mouth and saves the teeth from being washed in any acidic beverage.
Add essential supplements and vitamins
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones, helping regulate calcium and phosphorous levels. Similarly, a 2013 study found that vitamin D supplements help significantly reduce the occurrence of cavities and reverse tooth decay.
Another study showed that children who decreased their cereal intake but had a high level of vitamin D and calcium in the diets were less likely to suffer from tooth decay.
Soothe acid reflux
Many people suffer from acid reflux disease. Any acid can be harmful to your teeth, and the acid rising from your digestive tract is no different. It can cause sensitivity and decay.
Considering taking antacids regularly to help settle the acid in your system and keep it from harming your teeth.
Aloe vera may benefit you
Just as aloe vera has many benefits when used topically, aloe vera tooth gel has also proven to be useful in the fight against tooth decay. The antibacterial effect of aloe vera tooth gel kills harmful bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to infection.
Regular use can be just as beneficial as your toothpaste. Because aloe vera tooth gel lacks many of the abrasive elements found in commercial toothpaste, it tends to be less harsh on the teeth.
Chew on some licorice root
Similar to aloe vera, licorice root has been used for many years as a healing agent. It is praised for its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
A 2019 study showed that licorice root is an effective cavity disinfectant, which can help reverse tooth decay.
The Final Word on How to Reverse Tooth Decay
These remedies came in handy to reverse tooth decay in the early stages. When you first notice a white spot on your tooth, take action. You may be able to reduce the risk of cavities or reverse any damage to your enamel in this pre-cavity stage.
However, once you have a cavity, you should see your dentist as he or she is the only one licensed to treat or fill it.
These at-home remedies should always be used in conjunction with recommendations from your dentist.
Be sure to schedule regular visits to your dentist. Not all cavities cause pain, sending you to the doctor, so it is essential to see your dentist often to help detect any issues. He or she may be able to detect early signs of tooth decay before you and help you take preventative action sooner.
What other suggestions do you have to reverse tooth decay? Let us know your healthy habits in the comments below.
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