What Causes a Cavity and Can They Be Prevented?

Dealing with a cavity at any age can be painful and inconvenient. Understanding what causes cavities and how you can prevent them can help you to care for your own teeth while instilling healthy habits in your children who see a pediatric dentist. Because approximately 42% of children between the ages of two and 11 will have at least one cavity, according to the CDC, knowing how to maximize protection is key to preventing cavities from having the opportunity to develop.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities in the mouth are typically caused by dental plaque building and bacteria that forms in the mouth. Bacteria will typically form in the mouth and around the teeth after consuming sugars and starches. When these ingredients are not properly flossed and rinsed away, they have the chance to begin rotting your teeth and surrounding gums. Bacteria in the mouth eventually turn to acid, and when the acid reaches the tooth’s enamel, it attacks it.

Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important aspects of proper dental hygiene. While it’s recommended to brush your teeth after every meal you consume, it’s imperative to do so each morning and night.

Floss Your Teeth

Alongside brushing your teeth, flossing is extremely important. Flossing your teeth helps to clean and remove potentially harmful bacteria and food pieces from building up inside the mouth. Not only does flossing reduce bad breath, but it can significantly reduce the risk of developing a cavity over time.

Consume a Healthy Diet

Consuming a healthy diet is key for healthy teeth, especially as we age. Avoid consuming foods that are packed with sugars and starches, as these ingredients contribute to cavities the most. Stick with fresh vegetables, meats, nuts, and other healthy whole-food options to minimize the risk of developing cavities.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Schedule a dentist visit for yourself, or a pediatric dentist visit for your child, at least once every six months. Proper cleaning and checkups are advisable for individuals of all ages. Visiting the dentist can also inform you of potential problem areas that require more attention.

Knowing the most common causes of cavities and how to prevent them can go a long way in your dental habits as well as your family’s hygiene habits. The more aware you’re of the importance of dental health, the less likely you are to encounter painful and preventable cavities. Are you looking to learn more about cavities and how you can prevent them for your children? Discover how a pediatric dentist can help on our website today.

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