What Causes Cavities and How to Stop Them

No one wants to be told they have cavities! But no worries, they can be prevented. We’re here to teach you some ways to avoid cavities, and when you should come in to see us at Summer Dental in Oklahoma City, Norman or Yukon!   

What Are Cavities?

Cavities are small holes or divets in the teeth. They are the product of enamel erosion caused by an accumulation of plaque and bacteria on the surface of the teeth. When bacteria forms on the teeth that is not properly removed by brushing or flossing, this forms a substance called plaque. Plaque forms a film over the teeth, and eventually has the potential to harden into a substance known as tartar.

When plaque and tartar sit on the teeth for an extended period of time, bacteria begins to grow and develop, breaking down and decaying the tooth structure. When left untreated, the tooth decay will continue to grow until the patient begins to experience pain. If this continues to be left untreated, the tooth eventually becomes unsalvageable. Once the decay reaches this point, it is not uncommon for the individual to need more extensive work done than a simple cavity filling. For this reason, it is always best to take care of a cavity as soon as it is diagnosed. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for a cavity to exist without causing the individual any pain until it has reached a certain point of decay.

What You Can Do To Avoid Cavities

The best way to avoid cavities is to keep in mind the surface of the teeth must be as free of bacteria and sugar as possible. Brushing thoroughly at least twice a day at a minimum is a great start, though it is recommended to brush after every meal, if possible.

Individuals who tend to sip on beverages such coffee, soda, or tea throughout the day are encouraged to finish their food and drink in one sitting. This makes it easier to  brush their teeth and keep the surfaces of the teeth clean. Decreasing the amount of time the beverage is exposed to the teeth greatly reduces the chance of the food or sugar residue breaking down the tooth structure. Flossing regularly will also ensure that any food or bacteria between the teeth is successfully removed.

Regularly attending your hygiene appointments is an excellent way to steer clear of cavities. Going to the dentist regularly will also help you detect any cavities in time to save the tooth before the decay reaches a certain point.

With proper home care and regular visits to the dentist, you should be better able to effectively manage your dental health and avoid the development of cavities. At Summer Dental in Oklahoma City, Norman and Yukon, we recommend visiting the Dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and exams. Call or text us today to schedule your appointment!