Cavities are one of the most common dental problems in the world. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, almost everyone will have a cavity at some point in their lives. While cavities are very common, that doesn’t mean that they are inevitable. There are many things you can do to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy! In this blog post, we will discuss what causes cavities, how to prevent them, and what to do if you already have a cavity.
What are cavities?
The first step to preventing cavities is understanding what they are and how they develop. Cavities are caused by a combination of factors, including poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, and dry mouth. When these factors come together, they create an environment in which bacteria can thrive. This bacteria then breaks down the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities.
Basically, cavities are caused by bacteria that forms on teeth when plaque is not removed. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth and can be removed through brushing and flossing. If plaque is not removed, it will harden into tartar which can only be removed by a dentist. This tartar harbors the bacteria that can cause cavities.
Cavities form when the tooth enamel is weakened and small holes form. These holes allow bacteria to enter the tooth and cause decay. As the decay progresses, it can lead to pain, infection, and, in a worst case scenario, tooth loss.
How can I prevent cavities?
The good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent cavities. Some easy, daily habits that prevent cavities are:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet and avoiding sugary snacks
Additionally, make sure that you are visiting your dentist every 6 months for cleanings and checkups.
How do dental sealants prevent cavities?
Dental sealants are a thin, clear coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants protect these areas from cavities by sealing out bacteria and food particles. Sealants are most effective in preventing cavities in children and adults who have deep grooves in their teeth or who do not brush regularly.
What do I do if I think I have a cavity?
Because cavities are very common, they are often very treatable. Cavities can be treated with fillings, crowns, or other dental procedures. If you think you may have a cavity, otr are experiencing tooth pain and sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist.
If you live in Reno, Nevada or the surrounding areas and are concerned you may have cavities, call office and schedule your appointment today!