Tooth enamel, the hard outer surface of your teeth, protects your teeth from decay. However, this protection relies on taking good care of your teeth, including proper brushing and flossing each day. Eating foods and drinks containing sugar speeds up the tooth decay process by producing plaque acids. To keep cavities from forming, you need proper daily oral hygiene and routine checkups from your dentist.
About Tooth Decay
Tooth decay results from destruction of your tooth enamel. This destruction takes place over a period of time, starting from the plaque that foods and drinks deposit. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth, containing bacteria that produces plaque acids. These acids attack your tooth enamel, forming cavities.
People of any age can experience tooth decay and cavities. Of course, children commonly have more cavities due to their dietary habits and inexperience in caring for their teeth. But adults get cavities, too. Adults often go through changes as part of aging that increases the likelihood of cavities.
For adults, one of the biggest problems leading to cavities is the recession of the gums away from the teeth. Receding gums create pockets between the tooth and gums where plaque hides. This plaque reaches the tooth roots, speeding up decay despite good daily oral hygiene. Gum disease also fuels decay in adults.
Your tooth roots don’t have the protection of enamel. Instead, a softer tissue called cementum covers your roots. Just like this part of your tooth is more sensitive to hot, cold and touch, it’s also more sensitive to plaque. People over age 50 commonly suffer tooth root decay.
Another place adults experience more decay is around edges of fillings. Fillings weaken over time and commonly fracture and leak around their margins. Bacteria and plaque acids build up in these cracks, causing decay.
Preventing Cavities in Your Teeth
Prevent your own cavities through proper oral hygiene and routine dental care. This care includes:
- Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste
- Cleaning between your teeth daily using floss or interdental cleaners
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet of natural foods with limited sugars and snacking
- Using supplemental fluoride to strengthen your teeth, according to your dentist’s recommendations
- Using dental sealants provided by your dentist to protect the chewing surfaces of your back teeth from decay
One of the most important steps in preventing tooth decay is visiting your dentist on a regular basis. Routine dental checkups find cavities early. Tooth decay is both preventable and reversible to a certain point in its development. By visiting your dentist, you find problem areas early and gain the treatment you need to keep your teeth healthy.
Prevention Ensures Your Healthiest Teeth
Your best smile and strongest bite come from good oral healthcare. This healthcare starts with daily brushing and flossing. It includes regular checkups by your dentist and treatment you need to stop decay early and keep your teeth in good condition.
S. Keith Mahan, DDS General and Cosmetic Dentistry in Orlando, Florida provides family dental care, including cavity prevention and restoration after cavities occur. Dr. Mahan and his caring professional team provide all the services you need for your most attractive and functional smile.
Our services include:
Keeping your mouth healthy helps keep your entire body in good health. It also provides you the confidence you need with every smile. Call Dr. Mahan’s office now at 407-706-3873 for a consultation.