It’s always important to practice good oral hygiene. In fact, as little kids, it has been ingrained in our minds to not eat too much sugar and to brush our teeth regularly to prevent cavities. But what are cavities, and is brushing your teeth twice a day really enough to prevent them?
What Are Cavities?
A cavity is a hole in the teeth that appears when the tooth enamel is eroded by the action of bacteria and sugars. These bacteria make acids that attack the tooth and eat away at the enamel.
Having cavities is very common. Approximately half of all adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have cavities. Adults 65 and older also have a higher chance of getting cavities.
A cavity begins with a tiny hole in the enamel of your tooth. Over time, sugars feed bacteria which make acids that attack the tooth and wear away the enamel. It’s best to prevent cavities by limiting the time sugars stay on the teeth.
Once a cavity appears, it can be treated with a dental filling or a dental crown, or the tooth may be pulled out.
How Do Cavities Happen?
There are several factors that may lead to the formation of cavities. One of the most common causes is sugars.
Sugars from food, drinks, and the natural sugars in your mouth stick to your teeth and are the perfect food for cavity-causing bacteria. Bacteria love to eat sugars and produce acids that eat away at the enamel. Once the enamel is gone, a cavity is formed.
Another common cause of cavities is poor dental hygiene. When bacteria build up in the mouth, they form plaque, which is a hard substance made of bacteria, food particles, and saliva. Plaque can cause tooth decay if it’s not removed.
Not brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly are also major causes of tooth decay. These measures prevent bacteria from sticking to the enamel and producing acids.
What Are Cavity Prevention Techniques?
There are many things you can do to avoid getting cavities. These tips will help, but keep in mind that brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash is the best way to prevent cavities, especially if you’re dealing with a major cavity-causing factor, like sweets.
If you’ve already got a cavity, here are some tips on how to keep it from getting worse:
Brush your teeth with a gentle-flossing motion two times a day. After using mouthwash, brush your teeth for two minutes to get rid of the bacteria left in your mouth from the mouthwash.
Eat a healthy diet and, as much as possible, limit your sugar intake. Sugars, such as candy, soda, cake, and cookies, are the perfect food for cavity-causing bacteria.
Use fluoride toothpaste to protect your teeth from cavities. Fluoride helps prevent the decay in the enamel of your tooth.
Don’t eat or drink for at least one hour after you brush your teeth to prevent tooth decay. Since toothpaste is sticky, its sugars can stick to your teeth and encourage cavity-causing bacteria to grow.
Visit your dentist regularly for simple tests and cleanings. Cavities are easier to treat when they’re smaller.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily are the best ways to prevent cavities. Healthy diets, regular dental visits, and regular dental cleanings can also help you keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.
Treat your cavities with the help of Sudbury Dental Arts. We are a dentist in Sudbury that provides general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry services to our patients. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality dental care, so you have the best oral health possible. Make an appointment today!