Cavities are holes in your teeth that come from plaque—a sticky bacterial film that grows in the mouth, causing tooth decay over time. When we eat or drink foods and beverages with sugar in them, the bacteria react to the sugar by releasing acids. This acid erodes tooth enamel over time, allowing cavities to arise.
When our dentist removes the decay, the cavity is the empty space left behind. Cavities form on the top, or biting surfaces of teeth, especially the molars which are hard to reach and clean. They can also form between the teeth, and if you have gum disease, you may get cavities on the root surfaces of the teeth.
How to Prevent Cavities
–Your first line of defense is brushing your pearly whites at least twice each day, for at least two minutes each time. Use a toothbrush with bristles that are in top shape, as a frayed toothbrush cannot properly clean your teeth. This means changing your toothbrush every three months as needed.
–Fluoride is a vital force in cavity prevention as it strengthens your teeth. We recommend using a toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride to help your smile, and drinking tap water instead of bottled water.
–You can also help control plaque formation by limiting your exposure to sugary and starchy foods, especially when snacking.
–Have your teeth and gums professionally cleaned every six months to keep tartar at bay. Not only can we spot problems early when treatment is least invasive, but periodic removal of tartar will go a long way to keep teeth and gums at their healthiest.
–We may also recommend dental sealants and fluoride treatments to protect your teeth if you are prone to cavities.
For a beautiful, healthy smile, take good care of your teeth! If you would like to schedule your next dental visit with Dr. Kerry Taylor, please contact our Chandler Dental Excellence team in Chandler, Arizona at 480.389.2452 today.