Prevention FAQ

Your Dental Health is based on Your Overall Health!

Your overall health is the most important factor in your dental health. Truly healthy individuals usually don’t have very many dental issues.

Keeping a high oral pH is one of the biggest factors in preventing cavities and tooth decay.  If you remember from Chemistry class, the pH scale is the scale used to describe the acidity of a substance.  The scale ranges from 1-14.  A pH of 7 is neutral (pH of 1 being strongly acidic and the pH of 14 being strongly alkaline).  A healthy oral pH should be around a 7.0 -7.5.  People with a low oral pH (5.5-6.5) have acidic saliva and are high risk for tooth decay.  At Geneva Family Dentistry, we test each patient’s oral pH during the new patient and recare visits.  While having this information gives us a snapshot of our patient’s oral health, it does not give us the day-to-day total picture.  To get a better idea of the average pH, we recommend that patients test their pH at home at different times during day when they haven’t had anything to eat or drink within 1 hour.  This should be done daily for a few weeks to get an accurate reading of the average oral pH.  We recommend that patients with a continuous low pH evaluate their diet and lifestyle for possible ways to increase their pH (and hence the alkalinity of the body).  Oral Litmus Paper (a pH test) can be purchased at our office or at various online sources, such as:

Increasing the alkalinity of the body will help increase oral pH and help the mouth be less susceptible to dental issues.  Below is a list of ways to increase alkalinity:

1. Eat an Alkaline Diet (a diet rich in vitamins and minerals):

2. Supplement with high quality Vitamins and Minerals.

3. Supplement with Basic Bites Chocolate Soft Chews (see link below)

4. Drink Alkaline water  (See attached chart above)

5. Eliminate Acidic Drinks (Sodas, Energy Drinks, Power Drinks) – 

6. Limit eating the following foods: fast food, processed food, breads, red meat


Xylitol is a plant based alcohol sugar that is good for teeth! It kills “bad” bacteria and helps to alkalize the mouth. Trade in the “bad” (i.e., sugary) candy for some xylitol candy and do your mouth a favor. Listed below are some xylitol products we like:

Oral Probiotics

The mouth is filled with millions of bacteria all of which are part of the normal oral flora.  Some bacteria are beneficial, and some are damaging.  By taking an oral probiotic, patients can shift the numbers of bacteria into more of the good direction and help to crowd out the bad bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. The best time to take an oral probiotic is after a dental cleaning when the bad bacteria numbers have been decreased. Wouldn’t it be great to fill this void with helpful bacteria that promote teeth and gum health!  We recommend EvoraPro oral probiotics to our patients.

High Quality Electric Toothbrush

 Dr. Markham has found that a high quality electric toothbrush does a better job at cleaning teeth over manual brushing, for most patients.   His favorite power toothbrush is a Phillip’s Sonicare.

Vitamins and Minerals

Dr. Schulze’s Super Food Plus:

Complete Body Foundation Kit from Water Divine. To order call: 256-482-2113

Dry mouth is one of the most damaging risk factors for oral health.  Saliva is one the biggest protectors of teeth.  Patients with decreased salivary flow due to hormonal issues, poor health, stress, medications, radiation treatments, or salivary disorders are at a high risk for dental issues. Xylitol Products such as Spry and Xylimelts (see above links) are very helpful for stimulating salivary flow and protecting teeth. Patients experiencing dry mouth due to medications may also want to consult with their physician and research any alternative ways to treat your health condition other than medications. –ALERT-: DON’T EVER STOP TAKING A MEDICATION WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR PHYSICIAN!

Kiss Your Dentist goodbye: 

This book is one of the best dental prevention resources I’ve ever seen. If all my patients bought this book and followed its instruction I would probably have to find another line of work.


This is a really good website chocked full of dental education and prevention information.

Brushing and flossing is an important part of maintaining dental health.  Dr. Markham recommends that patients brush twice a day and floss once a day.  He also recommends that patients maintain regular dental prevention appointments and exams.   It’s More than Just a Cleaning!