Macavity is a character in the recently re-released musical/film, Cats, who is known for causing trouble- similar to cavity causing bacteria which can cause trouble in the mouth.
A cavity is the result of tooth decay, which is mainly preventable. We often think of decay as a childhood disease – and often it is, but children are not the only ones who are at risk. Many adults, especially older adults, develop cavities on the root surfaces of teeth. Tooth decay can affect anyone with teeth – no matter how old they are, so it’s important to know what you can do to reduce your chances of getting decay.
Growing Smiles believes in getting the basics right to reduce the risk of cavities and other dental problems. Here are some top tips to ensure ‘Macavity’s’ (!) not there…
- Reduce the amount and how often you have food and drinks containing sugar and avoid these before bedtime. The longer sugar stays in contact with tooth surfaces, the more likely a cavity will develop. Look out for sugars added to food and drinks. See the British Heart Foundations infographic for ‘sugars’ you may not realise are sugar
- Brush around the gum and every surface of every tooth at night and one other time every day
- Use fluoride toothpaste with at least 1350ppm fluoride. Your dentist may prescribe high fluoride toothpaste if you are at high risk of tooth decay
- Spit out after brushing but don’t rinse
- Clean between teeth every day – before brushing. Use interdental brushes or floss as advised/preferred
- Eat more fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water every day
- Chew sugar free gum (with xylitol) after eating
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Don’t smoke, use tobacco products, shisha pipes or recreational drugs
- Keep acidic food and drinks to mealtimes only and avoid before bedtime
- Be mouth aware. Look for signs and symptoms of mouth cancer
- Visit your dental team regularly. They will advise how often depending on your current oral health needs. It is possible to heal/remineralise early decay lesions that are only recognised by a dental professional. They will be able to advise you on how to heal early signs of decay. Not sure about remineralising products for home use? Contact us at [email protected]
- A small cavity is much easier to repair than a large one so visiting your dental team regularly will save you time, money and pain
Don’t let a visit to the dentist be like visiting the scene of a crime (Macavity’s favourite spot to vacate!).
If you would like tailored advice based on your specific circumstances, why don’t you take Time Out for Teeth? This is virtual oral care coaching which can be conducted via Skype or FaceTime with Oral Care Coach Leigh GS. Subscribe to our email for 50% discount on your first session.
Macavity may have been known as the ‘Mystery Cat’, but, hopefully we have made clear how to reduce your risk of getting cavities, ensuring cavity prevention is not a mystery to you.