How close would you be willing to let this gizmo get to your teeth?
If your answer is something approximating “Oh $@ no!,” you’re not alone.
In the old days, terrifying gadgets like this were the best option available for “treating” cavities. You’d pay someone to latch this thing around your aching tooth and yank it out. Boom, no more cavity. Of course, there’s no more tooth, either, but at least the pain went away after a while.
As dental science has advanced, we’ve learned how to save damaged teeth by drilling out the cavities and filling them back in. Unfortunately, too many dentists today are still stuck in the same old-timey methods - wait for something to start hurting, drill, & fill.
The best dentists out there are willing to take on a more customized approach, understanding each patient’s unique needs and working with them to prevent cavities in the first place.
That’s where CAMBRA comes in.
What’s a CAMBRA?
CAMBRA is a process for dental health professionals that’s being taught at leading dental schools. It stands for “Caries Management by Risk Assessment.”
Ok, I promise it’s not as boring as that sounds.
Basically, CAMBRA means that the kind of dental health treatment you’re receiving should be customized based on your personal risk factors. After all, if you haven’t had a cavity in over a decade, you probably don’t need the same kind of treatment and intervention as someone who’s getting cavities filled at every other appointment.
If you want to take charge of your own oral health, there’s plenty you can learn from the CAMBRA philosophy.
Assessing Your Personal Risk Factors
The most important step in preventing cavities is understanding their causes.
The official CAMBRA guidelines highlight 3 specific areas of risk that lead to cavities. I’m not going to bore you with the long technical explanation. Here’s the short and sweet of what you need to know:
- Risk #1 - Bacteria that produce tooth-dissolving acid
There’s a particularly nasty strain of bacteria that are well-known as the culprits behind cavities. This strain, Streptococcus mutans, lives in your mouth and spends all day churning out acid. Over time, this acid dissolves parts of your teeth, eventually leading to cavities.
- Risk #2 - Frequent eating/drinking of fermentable carbohydrates
Another source of tooth-dissolving acid is what we eat and drink. Many common foods are naturally acidic, and many more contain carbohydrates that can ferment in your mouth into tooth-damaging acid. This means that if you’re frequently eating acidic foods or beverages throughout the day, you’re constantly exposing your teeth to the threat of acid.
- Risk # 3 - Insufficient natural saliva production
Your body has a built-in defense system against the acidic damage - saliva. Your saliva contains all the essential minerals your teeth need to repair damage dealt to them by acid. However, if your natural saliva isn’t up to snuff, your teeth will break down faster than your body can repair them.
Assessing Your Current State & Recent Past
The other big factor in assessing your personal risk is taking a look at the current state of your smile
If you’re one of those enviable sorts who almost never gets cavities, congrats! Thanks for stopping by, but you probably don’t need the help.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you currently need a bunch of fillings and maybe a root canal or two, there’s not really an easy way around all those dental procedures, but don’t despair! The good news is that, no matter how hopeless you may feel, there are options to help you avoid painful procedures down the road and get the slippery-smooth, cavity-free smile you’ve always hoped for.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been lectured about perfecting your brushing technique or flossing 12 times a day at every dental appointment your entire life. Me too. And, hearing all that, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that you must be doing something wrong to keep getting all these cavities.
Here’s the mind-bending truth: despite what you’ve been told, your cavities are probably not your fault. Brushing and flossing are just some of the tools you can use to prevent cavities, and if you haven’t been educated about the others, how can you be blamed for not using them?.
A Treatment Plan to Fit Your Needs
So, now that you know what challenges you’re facing, we can effectively plan to tackle them.
Here’s what you can do to manage each of the significant risk factors and gain control of your oral health.:
#1 - Whack Bacteria with Xylitol
Remember those harmful, acid-producing bacteria? One of the most effective steps in combating cavities is to tackle these icky invaders head-on.
Xylitol is an all-natural sweetener that’s proven to target and remove harmful, cavity-causing bacteria from your mouth. These bacteria can’t actually digest xylitol, but it looks delicious to them, so they gobble it down anyway and, eventually, starve to death. Removing these nefarious little sources of tooth-dissolving acid is a powerful way to reduce your risk of cavities.
We’re obviously a little biased, but we’ve worked hard to make sure that Epic Gum, Mints, & Toothpaste are the best xylitol-delivery systems on the market. Of course, the proof is in the pudding, which is why we guarantee your satisfaction or we’ll return every penny you spent.
#2 - Watch When You Eat, and Buffer After
After introducing acid into your mouth from food or drink, it can take as long as 30 minutes for your saliva to neutralize it. That means that each time you take a sip of coffee or a gulp of soda, you’re resetting the 30-minute clock on acid exposure to your teeth.
This means that consolidating your eating and drinking down into fewer windows will decrease the amount of time your teeth are exposed to acid, which is definitely a good start. What’s even better is to actively neutralize acid right after meals, snacks, and sodas.
#3 - Don’t Bend Over Backwards - Consistency Produces Results
Here’s the honest truth - none of these strategies are going to solve everything overnight. Your teeth weren’t really designed to last forever, so the only true method for success is consistent effort.
However, getting good results doesn’t have to be a miserable slog.
Forget counting brush strokes or stressing about finding every last crack and crevice. Nobody can do that perfectly, not even your dental hygienist, and holding yourself to an impossible standard is a great way to be miserable. Your “good enough” effort is, in fact, good enough, so long as you’re making use of Epic xylitol to fill in the gaps.
Epic Gum & Mints are designed to be powerful weapons in the fight against cavities, and a big part of that is making sure they’re easy, fun, and satisfying to use.