Cavities form when tooth decay creates minute holes in the tooth’s enamel. They’re surprisingly common. In fact, even infants with the first set of baby teeth can get them. Do you know how to prevent cavities?
How Cavities Develop
Before figuring out how to prevent cavities, let’s talk about what they are. In simplest terms, cavities are the results of decay. Decay happens because plaque forms on the tooth and remains in place. This occurs when you don’t brush your teeth as often or as well as you could. Plaque that hardens becomes tartar. It traps bacteria, which attack the tooth enamel even more. Besides that, plaque gradually dissolves minerals of the tooth’s exterior. Holes open up. Next, bacteria move into the holes and attack the dentin. Without intervention, bacteria continue to thrive. They now move toward the pulp of the tooth. It leads to an infection and causes extreme pain.
How to Prevent Cavities
Preventative dentistry services in Lucas, TX, are at the forefront of preventing cavities. Visiting your dentist regularly for exams and hygienist cleanings is a crucial factor in avoiding hole formation. The hygienist removes tartar and plaque. It takes away the bacteria’s protection. However, there are also things you can do at home. For example, brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each. Use a soft bristle brush.
If you have reflux, visit your doctor and get medical attention for the condition. The constant stomach acid that enters your mouth actually weakens the enamel. It makes it easier for holes to form and bacteria to move in.
Drink water from the tap, it has fluoride in it. Not only is hydration a healthy habit, but the fluoride in drinking water strengthens enamel. Similarly, it replenishes the saliva that also helps with cleaning plaque off the teeth.
What to Do When You Think You Have Cavities
It’s tempting to ignore them. You tell yourself that it’s probably the poor lighting in the bathroom that makes your molar look a little dark. When it begins to hurt to chew on your left side, you start chewing on your right. However, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Before long, the pain gets worse. Dentists can fix early cavities with fillings. However, if the bacteria infect the pulp, you might need a root canal. Therefore, it’s essential to visit a dentist.
Services there might include:
- General dentistry that consists of an exam and X-rays
- Preventative care that focuses on a visit with the hygienist and the removal of plaque and tartar
- Cavity repair with fillings that can mimic the white color of your tooth’s enamel
- Root canals and crowns for situations when the bacteria already wreaked havoc
- Pediatric dentistry as a way for the youngest patients to undergo oral health care
Now that you know how to prevent cavities, isn’t it time to schedule a dentist’s visit? LoveJoy Dentistry is a family dentist who works with patients of all ages. Why not schedule an appointment right now? Call 972.449.7411 while you’re thinking about it.