How to Prevent Cavities?

How to Prevent Cavities?

Cavities, otherwise known as tooth decay, are a common dental concern that affects people worldwide. A cavity is a hole that forms in the tooth surface. It usually begins as a small hole and becomes deeper when left untreated for long, leading to severe complications like toothache, infection, abscess, and eventual tooth loss. 

In this blog, let's see what cavities are and how to prevent them from occurring.

Cavities

Cavities, tooth decay, or caries, are damaged areas on the enamel surface that lead to tiny openings or holes in the teeth. They are usually a result of a combination of factors, like harmful bacteria in the mouth, frequent intake of sugary food and drinks, and improper oral hygiene habits.

Symptoms of Cavities

The signs and symptoms of tooth decay and cavity may vary, depending on the severity or extent of the decay and its location. In its initial stage, they may not exhibit any symptoms at all. However, once it gets larger, it may show the following symptoms:

Toothache that occurs without any obvious cause

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Holes or pits in your teeth
  • Brown, black or white staining or patches on the tooth surface
  • Pain when biting down food

Causes

A cavity is the result of tooth decay that occurs over time. Tooth cavities can occur when plaque attaches to teeth. Plaque is the result of the following factors:

  • bacteria
  • saliva
  • acid
  • food particles

When we consume food or drinks that contain sugar, the bacteria present in the mouth convert sugar into acid. If we do not clean our teeth with regular brushing and flossing, plaque will start to form on the teeth and may cause enamel erosion because of the acid present in it. As the enamel erodes, it gets weakened and increases the risk for tooth decay and cavities. 

The risk factors for tooth decay increase with the following habits: 

  • consumption of sugary or acidic foods and drinks
  • poor oral hygiene habits
  • not getting enough fluoride
  • dry mouth 
  • eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia
  • acid reflux disease, which can lead to enamel deterioration 

How To Prevent Cavities?

The best way to prevent cavities is by following good oral and dental hygiene. The other preventive factors to be followed are as follows: 

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste:Never skip brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after every meal. Use fluoride-containing toothpaste to brush the teeth. 
  • Rinse your mouth:Use a mouth rinse with fluoride to rinse the mouth after every meal. 
  • Visit your dentist regularly: Regular oral exams at least twice every year accompanied by professional teeth cleanings can prevent a majority of dental concerns or help dentists spot them at the earliest.
  • Consider dental sealants: Dental sealants, when applied to the chewing surface of molars, seals off grooves that tend to accumulate food debris, thus safeguarding tooth enamel from plaque and acid. 
  • Drink fluoridated tap water:Public water supplies contain added fluoride, which offers the cavity-fighting benefits of fluoride treatment. 
  • Avoid frequent snacking: Do not consume sugary food or drinks frequently.
  • Eat tooth-friendly foods: Consume fresh fruits and vegetables that contribute to dental health and boost saliva flow. 
  • Consider fluoride treatments:For those who are at an increased risk of cavities or those who do not get recommended fluoride through fluoridated drinking water, a fluoride treatment can help. 
  • Ask about antibacterial treatments: Your dentist can provide special antibacterial mouth rinses that eliminate or reduce harmful, cavity-causing bacteria. 

Do you wish to know more about preventative measures to avoid cavities? Call Orange Family Dental at (619) 280-4861 or schedule an appointment online. 

Location

4205 Fairmount avenue, San Diego, CA 92105

Phone: (619) 280-4861

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Call or Text Us: (619) 280-4861