During a dental exam, I have my patients walk me through their daily dietary habits. Many people are unaware that when you eat, your mouth becomes acidic. It takes 2 hours for a healthy mouth to re-neutralize itself. If you snack or drink within 2 hours your acid attack phase is reset. Some people are in acid attack ALL DAY LONG! Here are tips to counterbalance acid attack and prevent future cavities.
1. Baking soda rinses after each ingestion of food or acidic drinks. The mouth becomes naturally acidic when ingesting food/drink and demineralizes the enamel. Baking soda pH is 14 which is basic so will counterbalance the acid attack on your teeth. *Dilute baking soda into a bottle of water (so it’s diluted, not clumpy) and swish for at least 30 seconds and spit.
2. Fluoride products remineralize the enamel to protect from further acid attack.
– Fluoride varnish placed at every cleaning appointment or more frequently if high caries rate.
– SDF, Silver Diamine Fluroide. Paint on caries lesion for 1 minute. This stops the cavity and hardens the affected tooth. Better than a filling!
– Use ACT fluoride mouth rinse throughout the day and at night.
– Clinpro 5000 RX toothpaste. Floss then brush with this toothpaste at night. Spit excess and do not rinse with water after brushing.
– MI Paste. If you have bleaching trays or a nightguard; place this in the trays overnight.
3. Xylitol stops the bad bacteria in the mouth from converting carbohydrates into acid.
– Xylitol ingredient found in gum, mints or Mouth spray. Spry is one company that makes this. Find on Amazon, Whole foods, Staff of Life, or New Leaf market.
NOTE: Saliva is a natural cleanser of your mouth. Saliva production shuts down while you’re sleeping. FLOSSING and BRUSHING before bed is very important because of this.