Preventing Tooth Decay: 7 Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities and Other Oral Problems

7 ways to prevent tooth decay (Image via Freepik/kroshka__nastya)
7 ways to prevent tooth decay (Image via Freepik/kroshka__nastya)

Tooth decay typically refers to cavities that affect the outer (enamel) as well as the internal (dentin) layer of the tooth. Over time, as the decay progresses, it spreads to the deep layer, thereby causing several other oral problems.

So, how can we prevent cavities and tooth damage? Well, there are several things you can do to prevent cavities, toothache, and other tooth and gum-related problems. While brushing your teeth twice and flossing are the two staple habits to maintain strong gums and teeth, several other habits can significantly help prevent tooth decay.


7 Things You Can Do to Prevent Tooth Decay

Here are some of the best ways to prevent cavities and tooth decay:

1. Make sure to use the right toothpaste

Always use a fluoride-based toothpaste. (Image via Pexels/George Becker)
Always use a fluoride-based toothpaste. (Image via Pexels/George Becker)

One of the best things you can do to maintain healthy teeth and gums is to switch to fluoride toothpaste. These kinds of toothpaste are proven to strengthen the teeth and cure tooth decay. You can also opt for a fluoride-based mouthwash, and use it twice daily for best results.

However, just make sure you rinse properly and do not ingest fluoride, as several studies have linked fluoride toothpaste to health concerns such as birth defects, blood pressure problems, and more.


2. Limit your sugar and acidic drinks intake

Limit your sugar intake. (Image via Pexels/Alexander Grey)
Limit your sugar intake. (Image via Pexels/Alexander Grey)

Another way to prevent cavities and tooth damage is to cut back on acidic drinks and sugar. As per dental experts, excessive consumption of these kinds of foods and drinks can increase the risk of new cavities and damage gums, too.


3. Floss your teeth at least once a day

Floss your teeth at least once a day. (Image via Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)
Floss your teeth at least once a day. (Image via Pexels/Sora Shimazaki)

While brushing your teeth twice a day is super important, flossing is crucial for maintaining healthy gums and teeth, too. That’s because floss can reach in between teeth and far in the back as well, where your brush can’t.

Thus, it is important that you floss at least once a day to make sure no food is trapped between your teeth.


4. Stop smoking

Quit smoking. (Image via Pexels/lil artsy)
Quit smoking. (Image via Pexels/lil artsy)

Smoking can wreak havoc not just on your oral health, but it can lead to several other medical conditions as well. It can cause numerous illnesses and damage your organs.

Not only does smoking stains the teeth, but over time, it can contribute to serious tooth problem, tooth loss, gum damage, and even lead to oral cancer.


5. Consume tooth-friendly foods and drinks

Eat right and healthy. (Image via Pexels/Wendy Wei)
Eat right and healthy. (Image via Pexels/Wendy Wei)

Avoiding certain foods and drinks can also prevent tooth decay and give you shinier and healthier teeth. Foods like healthy vegetables, fruits, and sugar-free items are all tooth-friendly and should be consumed in your every day diet.

You must avoid foods that are chewy or sticky, contain artificial sweeteners, or are acid-based like energy and soft drinks.


6. Get your cavities filled

Get your cavities filled. (Image via Unsplash/stefamerpik)
Get your cavities filled. (Image via Unsplash/stefamerpik)

If you have cavities, getting them filled by a dentist as soon as possible can prevent further damage and protect the surrounding teeth. Dental fillings can ensure stability, strength, and shape of the teeth, and reduce the risk of tooth loss.


7. Oil pulling

Try oil pulling. (Image via Unsplash/Tijana Drndarski)
Try oil pulling. (Image via Unsplash/Tijana Drndarski)

Oil pulling done with coconut oil offers several oral health benefits. It prevents tooth decay, reduces toothache, and also keeps the gums healthy. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of coconut oil keep the teeth stronger and gums healthier.

To try oil pulling, take a tablespoon of coconut oil, put it in your mouth, and swish it thoroughly around your mouth for at least a few minutes. Spit the oil after a few minutes and do not swallow.


Other than the aforementioned habits, make sure you visit a dentist regularly to keep a check on your oral health. Getting oral exams and teeth cleanings frequently can help identify problems, so you can get them treated professionally right away. If left untreated, tooth decay can spread and lead to several other serious issues.

Edited by Susrita Das