Most of us are aware that cavities aren’t the best for our oral health, and according to the American Dental Association, more than 1 in 5 Americans have at least one untreated cavity. The biggest issue people face is not knowing which habits and behaviors they need to change in order to maintain good oral health and encourage prevention from common dental problems. Tooth decay is 100% preventable so, if you notice signs of pain in your mouth, it’s better to act sooner than later.
Once it’s determined that you have a cavity, it’s impossible for it to go away on its own. A licensed dentist will need to examine your tooth and repair it with a dental filling. However, there are preventative steps you can take to reverse the decay and keep cavities from forming in the first place.
We recommend the following guidelines to prevent a cavity from forming:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss regularly
- Drink lots of water
- Try to avoid sugary drinks and beverages
- Use mouthwash regularly
- Make routine dental appointments
- Communicate with your dentist as soon as you notice signs of oral issues
How Cavities Are Formed
To understand how to prevent cavities, we must first understand how they form. The most common reason for a tooth to decay is through activated bacteria, such as sugars and starches. When we eat a lot of carbohydrates, the bacteria in our mouth create an acid that mixes with other debris in the mouth, such as saliva. This is how plaque is formed, and when left untreated, it attacks the enamel surface creating a hole called the cavity.
Who Is At Risk of Cavities?
Individuals of all ages can be at risk for getting a cavity, including children, teens, adults, and seniors. You might be more at risk if you have:
- A family history of cavities
- Dry mouth or you’re taking medication that causes dry mouth
- Cracked or chipped teeth
- High-sugar diet
- Had head or neck radiation therapy