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Cavities . . . What Are They and How Do We Prevent Them?

Cavities (tooth decay) occur when specific types of bacteria produce acid that destroys your tooth’s enamel. Tooth decay is heavily influenced by lifestyle including what we eat, how well we take care of our teeth, and the presence of fluoride in our water or toothpaste. Everyone can get a cavity, although children are more susceptible to obtaining them.

There are also numerous types of cavities. The three that currently exist are:

  • Coronal cavities
  • Root cavities
  • Recurrent decay

Coronal cavities are the most common of the three types. They are generally located on the exterior of the tooth or between teeth. Root cavities are unfortunately exactly what they sound like. They occur because as we age, our gums recede, leaving parts of our roots exposed to plaque. The last type of cavity known as recurrent decay forms around existing fillings or crowns. This is due to these areas having a higher tendency to accumulate plaque, which ultimately leads to decay.

What are the best ways to prevent yourself from getting a cavity? Here are a few pointers to keeping your teeth cavity free!

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily!

It’s as simple as that. Adopting a thorough dental hygiene routine will improve your dental health significantly. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day (morning and night) and flossing once a day.

  • Avoid snacking on sugary or starchy foods!

Avoiding snacking on these foods is a great way to minimize your teeth’s contact with acid. If you do eat these foods, it is best to eat them as part of a meal. This minimizes the acid that is left on your teeth after eating, leading to less tooth decay in your future.  

  • Visit the dentist every 6 months!

No matter how diligent we are at looking after our teeth, it is still important to visit a dentist regularly. Dentists can not only check over our teeth, they can give expert advice on how to better look after your teeth. They can also remove tartar, which is not removable by the common tooth brush.  

Have any questions regarding cavities? Need a dental checkup? Give our team at Apple Dental Group a call today at 403-640-4000!