Tooth decay, the dental disease that causes cavities in your teeth, is the most common chronic dental health issue for both children and adults. Surprisingly, they’re also among the easiest to prevent. Tooth decay and cavities develop from a combination of factors, such as inadequate hygiene, excessive sugar intake, and infrequent visits to the dentist’s office. By understanding those factors and how you can address them, you can significantly increase your possibility of preventing cavities from ever forming.
How Cavities Develop in the First Place
A cavity describes in a small hole in your tooth structure, and it typically begins at your tooth’s outer layer of enamel. When oral bacteria convert sugar and other carbohydrates into acids, the acids attack your tooth enamel and sap minerals from your teeth, inhibiting their ability to refresh and strengthen their outer layer. In time, enamel erosion can lead to a small hole in the enamel, allowing bacteria to infect the main tooth structure and cause the cavity to grow increasingly larger.
The Keys to Successful Prevention
When a cavity develops, it can usually be treated successfully with a tooth filling, or in more severe cases, root canal therapy. While these restorations can effectively repair your tooth and restore its proper function, the better alternative is to prevent cavities from forming so you can preserve all of your natural tooth structure. For successful prevention, be sure to follow these important tips:
- Brush and floss every day, without fail: Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once controls the buildup of oral bacteria before they grow strong enough to weaken your tooth enamel. If you skip a brushing, then bacteria can calcify into tartar, which you cannot remove with toothpaste and water.
- Snack responsibly, and rinse afterward: Oral bacteria are a threat mainly because of the substances they produce. In the case of cavities, the most harmful bacteria substance is acid, which many bacteria produce after consuming sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates. Snacking too often creates a continuous supply of bacterial acid, increasing the attacks on your teeth and your risks of cavities.
- Visit your dentist as often as recommended: Professional dental cleanings are the only way to remove tartar and prevent oral bacteria from damaging your teeth. Likewise, professional dental checkups are the only way for your dentist to check for signs of enamel erosion using advanced early cavity detection technology. Early detection can give you the chance to address enamel erosion before it’s too late.
Learn More About Preventing Cavities with Your Dentist
With a consistently good hygiene routine at home, a close eye on what you eat and how often, and regular care with your dentist, you have an excellent chance of preventing cavities from forming. To learn more, schedule a consultation with your dentist by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-1678.