It can be daunting to hear that you have a cavity even though you brush and floss your teeth regularly. What exactly are cavities, and what can you do to avoid them?
What Are Cavities?
Cavities are small holes of decay that form on the surface of your teeth. They are usually so small that you can’t even tell that they’re there! If you have persistent bad breath, a strange taste in your mouth, or increased pain and sensitivity, chances are you have a cavity.
What Causes Cavities?
Plaque and bacteria cause teeth to decay. You can develop too much plaque and bacteria in your mouth if you don’t brush and floss regularly and/or your diet is full of sugars, starches, and acid, as most American diets are. When plaque and bacteria break down sugar on the surface of your teeth, the acid that they release is harmful for your teeth, so it is especially important to maintain a proper diet and oral hygiene routine to prevent cavities.
How Are Cavities Treated?
A filling is the best way to treat a cavity and prevent the decay from spreading to your tooth root. It’s a simple procedure and is painless (Dr. Patel will apply a numbing agent so you definitely won’t feel a thing!). All he has to do is clear out the decay from the hole and fill the hole with a realistic-looking resin or porcelain and your smile will be back to normal in no time.
How Do I Prevent Cavities?
It’s quite easy to prevent cavities!
- Try your best to eat a varied and healthy diet that is low in sugar and acid. Think fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.
- Drink plenty of fluoridated water. Water is essential for all your bodily functions and washes away food particles in your mouth. Fluoride helps prevent decay and is known for curbing cavities.
- Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time and floss at least once a day to get rid of any plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth.
- See Dr. Patel twice a year to make sure you are cavity-free or to get existing ones treated.
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