If you have ever had a cavity, you’re in the majority: it’s estimated that nine in ten American adults have at least one cavity.
What Are Cavities?
A cavity is a small area of decay on your tooth, usually in the form of a small hole. They’re not easy to detect yourself, which is why it is so important to see Dr. McCord every 6 months so that he can determine if you have them. Common signs of cavities include tooth sensitivity and pain, along with bad breath. Cavities are easily treatable in their early stages, but if you don’t get them treated right away, the decay will spread and you may be required to have a root canal or a tooth extraction in the future.
What Causes Cavities?
Tooth decay occurs when you have too much bacteria on the surface of your teeth and are not doing enough to curb their growth. Eating a diet that is rich in sugar and carbohydrates is a leading cause of cavities, because when bacteria on your teeth break down leftover sugar, they release acid that can actually eat away at the protective layer of your teeth. Additionally, poor oral hygiene leads to cavities.
5 Tips to Prevent Cavities
Even though they’re quite common, cavities are actually easily preventable! Follow these 5 tips to be completely cavity-free.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Use Fluoride
- Brush & Floss Every Day
- Stop Smoking
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly
A well-balanced diet will balance acid levels in your mouth, making it harder for bacteria to grow. Having a proper mix of vitamins and nutrients will also help remineralize, or strengthen, your teeth every time you eat. Protein, calcium, and fiber are especially important for your teeth, so don’t be shy to incorporate more dairy, leafy greens, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet!
Using dental products that contain fluoride and drinking fluoridated water is a great way to ward of cavities, since fluoride prevents cavity-causing bacteria from multiplying. Just be careful not to use too much, because it can cause staining on your teeth.
Brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time and flossing at least once per day is the best way to prevent cavities and gum disease. It only takes a couple of minutes each time!
Smoking negatively impacts your health, and because it weakens your immunity, it makes it even easier for the bacteria that is normally not so harmful to your teeth to overtake them and cause infections.
It’s very important to have Dr. McCord examine your teeth twice per year to make sure that either you don’t have cavities at all or are able to have them treated.
Don’t let cavities get the best of you! Visit us at Mint Dental Care for a clean bill of health. Contact us today!