Dental cavities are holes in the teeth that are caused by damaging plaque inside the mouth. Cavities are among the most common health concern in the world, yet they are one issue that can easily be prevented. There is more to oral health care than simply seeing your dentist on a regular basis. There are choices that you make every day that have a direct impact on your oral health.
The mouth is full of bacteria, with some of them being helpful and others being harmful. The helpful bacteria are present in order to help break down food particles that are left behind inside the mouth after eating. However, even these helpful bacteria will become harmful when they are allowed to remain in the mouth for an extended period of time. The longer these bacteria remain in the mouth, they begin to go through a changing process. Bacteria use sugars from the foods that you eat (even healthy foods) to produce acids. The bacteria and acid film that clings to the teeth is known as plaque. It is this plaque that can create a cavity on the tooth. Because plaque is sticky, it remains on the teeth throughout the day. The acids within plaque begin eating away at the tooth enamel. When these acids are successful at making a hole in the tooth, a cavity has been formed.
Cavity prevention is the only way to fight against damaging cavities forming inside the mouth. What you eat has a great impact on the health of our teeth. Every time we eat or drink something that contains sugars or starches, bacteria in the mouth use these sugars to produce acids. Our saliva does its best to fight off the acid attack, but over indulging in sugary foods and drinks puts your mouth at constant assault against damage.
Brushing and flossing are also essential components of cavity prevention. Brushing the teeth helps to loosen daily plaque that builds up on the surfaces of the teeth. Flossing is what needs to be done to loosen the plaque that forms between the teeth, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. It is essential that both of these are done on a daily basis. Brushing alone is not enough to prevent cavities!
At Heritage Dental, we are a family dental practice that wants to help your family achieve optimal oral health. We want to partner with you in cavity prevention so that between regular cleanings your teeth have the best opportunity to remain healthy. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment.