Family-Friendly Tips for Cavity Prevention
Most people know that a cavity is an unsightly hole in a tooth, but some may not be aware of exactly how and why cavities occur. Cavities are the result of tooth decay—the slow breakdown of the tooth by harmful bacteria. You don’t want to let tooth decay invade your mouth, aside from forming cavities, bacteria can also begin to attack the tissues around the teeth, such as the gums or jawbone. With good oral hygiene habits, you can fight cavities and enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for a lifetime. Use these dental care tips for keeping your oral health and the oral health of your family in tip-top shape.
The human mouth is full of bacteria. Your teeth, gums, and tongue are home to hundreds of different bacteria—some helpful and some harmful.
Cavities, or tooth decay, occur when some of the harmful bacteria use sugar molecules from the foods you eat to make acids that can eat away at your teeth. Dental plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that teams up with the sugary, starchy food and drinks to form erosive acids that eat away at your teeth and gum tissue. In defense, your body produces saliva, rich in minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, to wash away the bacteria. When you brush with fluoride-rich toothpaste, this further enhances enamel repair by replacing minerals lost during an “acid attack.”
Your teeth go through this natural process of mineral gain and loss throughout each day. However, you have some control over the frequency of the cycles, with food choices and how often you brush your teeth. Overconsumption of sugary, starchy foods in conjunction with limited brushing can promote mineral loss and lead to the appearance of white spots on the teeth—an early sign of decay.
At this point, tooth decay can be inhibited or even reversed with increased water consumption, brushing, flossing, and eating “teeth healthy” foods. If the condition is left untreated, minerals will continue to be lost, the enamel will weaken and ultimately be destroyed, leaving a hole, or cavity. Once a cavity forms, it cannot be reversed. A cavity is permanent damage that your dentist in St. Clair Shores will have to repair with a filling.
Dental Care to Prevent Cavities
- Floss at least once a day with ADA-approved dental floss.
- Brush for two minutes at least two times per day with fluoride toothpaste or, for improved outcomes, after every meal.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing, swishing for 60 seconds.
- Schedule routine appointments with a skilled, affordable dentist every six months. Be sure to let your family dentistry practitioner know of any tooth pain or other dental concerns.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.