Preventing Adult Cavities

The belief that only children get cavities is a myth. Due to the changes in your body as you age, like receding gums and lack of enamel, cavities can also be a problem as you get older.

How a Cavity Forms

Tooth decay starts when plaque forms on your teeth. There are bacteria in your mouth that thrive on sugary drinks and food. The bacteria feeds off those sugars on your teeth and then produces acid. The acid mixed with the food particles and saliva combine to create plaque. Once plaque forms, it starts to wear away at the enamel (hard outer surface) on your teeth. Tiny holes are then formed in the enamel which allow the acids to continue attacking the next layer, the dentin. The plaque and acid will continue with their damage until it reaches the inner tooth material, or the pulp of your teeth. Once the destruction gets to this advanced point, you will start noticing some sensitivity and pain when biting. At times, the tooth can be so severely affected that you may require a root canal.

5 Ways to Prevent Cavities

Being consistent and vigilant in oral care can go a long way. Here are some tips on how to help prevent tooth decay:

1. Brush Your Teeth - In the fight against cavities, it’s imperative that you brush your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.

2. Floss Daily - Food gets caught in our teeth constantly as we eat. If you don’t remove the particles between your teeth, it can lead to decay.

3. Eat Healthy - Proper nutrition can go a long way in regards to your oral health. Eating healthy meals and limiting the amount of sugary drinks and treats are a great way to prevent plaque formation.

4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly - You should be visiting your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months. Some cavities can only be found during routine x-rays. These visits also help your dentist formulate a plan to correct any other dental issues that may arise.

5. Consider Sealants - While sealants are popular for children, this protective coating could be a helpful way to shield your teeth from cavities. Ask your dentist to see if your teeth can benefit from this treatment.

When to Call Your Dentist

Early cavity symptoms can be hard to detect on your own. Visiting your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and regular x-rays will help pinpoint if there are trouble spots forming on your teeth. Practicing preventative measures can greatly reduce the risk of decay. If you’re experiencing any sensitivity or pain, contact Bassett Creek Dental right away at 763-546-1301, to schedule an appointment. We look forward to providing you with optimal care.