How to Avoid Cavities

If you have a cavity, you are one of more than 3 million cases that occur every year in the US alone. A cavity is a form of tooth decay that affects the tooth’s enamel. On the outside of the tooth, the enamel protects the soft core. Additionally, it keeps the nerves and connective tissues inside the tooth safe. 

When you develop a cavity, a small hole forms in the enamel. Slowly, the hole works inward to the pulp, which houses the nerves. Initially, you may not feel any effects from the cavity. However, if left untreated, you can experience pain, temperature sensitivity, or even an infection. The cavity will grow deeper and more prominent over time, potentially causing further decay or tooth loss. 

Unfortunately, a cavity causes permanent damage to the tooth. Only a dentist can stop the decay. If the cavity is not severe, your dentist will use a filling to prevent further damage. However, you may need a crown if the cavity is too large. Luckily, fixing a cavity is easy and routine. The best course of action is to avoid cavities in the first place. 

Young woman brushing her teeth at home to avoid cavities dentists in Baltimore Maryland

Good Oral Health Routine

The best way to prevent cavities is to have a solid oral health routine. Most cavities are a result of poor teeth cleaning. Plaque will build up on your teeth, and you must remove it. If left in place, it can turn into tartar, a calcified deposit. Only a dental professional can get rid of tartar. Plaque houses bacteria that create cavities, making it essential to clear away. 

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day or after meals can reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth. Additionally, you should floss at least once a day. Flossing allows you to clean between your teeth and close your gums where your toothbrush can’t reach. 

Look at Your Diet

Your diet could be a major factor in determining your risk of cavities. Eating foods that contain high amounts of sugar or acid can increase your chances of developing cavities. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar in your diet. The more sugar you eat, the more the bacteria will consume, meaning you are more likely to have cavities. 

Eating healthier foods with less sugar can help neutralize the bacteria and prevent cavities. 

Drink More Water

Drinking more water can help lower your risk of developing cavities. In addition to sugar, bacteria thrive in a dry environment. So if you find yourself frequently thirsty, you should drink more water in order to prevent cavities. 

If dry mouth is a frequent problem, you should talk to your dentist because it could be a sign of a more significant problem. 

Regular Dental Cleanings

Regularly visiting your dentist is another way to avoid cavities. Preventative measures are in place each time you go to a routine appointment. For example, your dentist takes x-rays and examines your teeth, meaning they can see if you are likely to develop cavities. 

Also, they can see the beginnings of a cavity before it does any significant damage. 

Author: Dr. Desbordes