Even though a cavity (sometimes referred to as dental caries) is completely preventable, it is still the most common oral disease to affect Dental Cavity Formation both children and adults. So, what is a cavity exactly and why do they form? How can I prevent a cavity from happening to my child or myself? Our Queen Creek, AZ, cosmetic dentists Dr. Matthew Roper and Dr. Matthew Scheer horn are here to explain.
What is a cavity?
The crown of your tooth is made up of a layer of dentin and an outer layer, known as tooth enamel. While enamel is the strongest substance in the human body, even it can fall victim to damage. Throughout the day the foods we eat mix with the bacteria in our mouths to create a sticky film over teeth known as plaque.
The foods you eat can increase the amount of plaque develops on teeth. Foods that are starchy or high in sugars are more likely to increase plaque buildup. The bacteria then turn these foods into acid, which destroys tooth enamel. Since the acid is contained within the plaque this means that as long as plaque remains on teeth the acid will continue to damage the enamel.
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How can I prevent cavities?
The best way to reduce plaque buildup is to be conscientious of what you eat. Stay away from starchy foods such as white breads, pastas and potatoes, as well as sugary foods and drinks (e.g. sodas; sports drinks; desserts).
Besides eating a smile-friendly diet you also want to make sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day (once in the morning and again at night right before bed), as well as flossing your teeth. When you do brush, make sure that you are brushing every surface of your teeth and spending at least two full minutes brushing.
While most people do brush their teeth every day, not everyone is as good about flossing as regularly. Without floss, you only get a small percentage of your teeth clean and you won’t remove plaque buildup from the sides of your teeth and along the gumline if you don’t floss regularly.
Ocotillo Trails Family Dentistry in San Tan Valley, Arizona and serving Queen Creek, is dedicated to providing you and your family with the comprehensive dental care they need to maintain healthy, cavity-free smiles. No matter whether you want to discuss ways to protect your smile from cavities or you need to schedule a routine cleaning, do not hesitate to call our office.
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