Water is your friend. Please make sure to drink plenty of water and the easiest way to make sure you have enough is to start with a known volume each day, e.g. a quart of water. Clear container to easily see how much you’ve consumbed. Suck on ice – do not chew.
Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Carbohydrates in any form can be problematic, especially when consumed frequently, e.g. regular soda, sweet tea, mints, gum, lozenges, etc.
Mints, gum with 100% xylitol (bacteria do not grow with xylitol and it stimulates saliva flow).
- Spry Mints / Gum, regularly available on Amazon and at the Vitamin Shoppe
- Xylimelts are tablets that can be applied to teeth or even gums (denture patients) and stimulate saliva flow, especially overnight, but anytime, generic available in the dental section of most stores
- Others: ACT Dry Mouth Lozenges, Biotene products, Oasis mouthwash
Humidify your sleeping area with a cool mist vaporizer.
Tobacco irritates the nose and sinuses making them more vulnerable to infection, even worse with dry mouth and sinus membrane linings.
Effective Plaque Removal
Removing the bacteria that cause cavities is extremely important.
- electric toothbrush (Sonicare or Oral-B)
- brush only side to side, not up / down or circular
- Glide Floss and Glide Floss Picks, work up to flossing every time you brush
- dry brushing once a day: manual toothbrush, not in the bathroom, no toothpaste, brush until completely smooth
- time of day does not matter, leave / have a brush handy or nearby (if you have to go get it, inconvenient, doesn’t happen)
Toothpaste does little to actually clean teeth, but rather delivers chemistry. Toothpaste typically has 1,000 ppm fluoride, and office fluoride treatment is usually about 10,000 ppm fluoride. For a person with a dry mouth a prescription remineralizing (tricalcium phosphate) and fluoride (5000 ppm fluoride) paste such as Colgate Prevident Booster Plus or 3M Clinpro is a necessity. For as long as you have a dry mouth that would be your toothpaste.
- 3M Xerostomia Relief Spray (2-10ml pump bottles / box)
More effective than any mouthwash is salt water, the same thing we have you employ after an extraction, a sore throat, etc.
- salt water rinse: 4 teaspoons table salt / pint of water, swish one minute and spit out
- premix in a sport top type of bottle, leave in the shower, time of day does not matter, just that it is done effectively every 24 hours