Dental decay affects people of all ages. It is the most common disorder experienced by humans only following the common cold. Understanding how a cavity is formed can minimize and even prevent incidences.
Cavities are formed by bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria are found in plaque which is a sticky substance that adheres to teeth after eating. These bacteria act on sugars in the food and release acids as by products which dissolve the minerals in teeth. This is called demineralization. The tooth structure is softened, breaks down, and allows holes or cavities to form.
Dental decay is easily preventable. The following tips can reduce your risk of tooth decay:
Diet Modification- The easiest way to decrease the occurrence of cavities is by reducing the amount of sugar available for bacteria to work on. Eliminating sugary snacks and drinks cuts off the supply of acid in the mouth. If you enjoy the every now and then sugary snack make it part of your regular meal. This allows time between meals for our naturally occurring saliva to clean the teeth and restore lost minerals.
Fluoride- Study after study shows that people who make fluoride part of their regular routine through water, toothpastes, and rinses significantly reduce their chances of cavities. Fluoride integrates into the tooth structure making them more resistant to wear from acids.
Oral Hygiene- Careful and regular brushing and flossing removes bacteria and helps keep it under control. Professional cleanings can remove built up tarter and areas you may not be able to remove with regular brushing. You should have your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months.
Dental cavities are a common problem but also easily preventable. Reduce the amount of time you spend in the dental chair and save yourself a little money too by following these easy steps to a cavity free lifestyle.