Cavities are the most recognizable concern that can develop with your teeth. Not only do most people recognize the term, but they also recognize many of the symptoms as being related to cavities and the tooth decay that causes them. For example, if you develop a toothache, then your first worry may be if it’s caused by a cavity. However, not everyone is as familiar with how easy cavities can be to prevent, or what it takes to prevent them consistently for life. Today, we examine what everyone should know about preventing tooth decay, and why even the slightest slip up can pave the way for a cavity to develop.
What you’re actually preventing
Cavity development is a process, and the only way to prevent it is to stop the process from getting too far. In most cases, a cavity forms when a tooth starts to decay, which is the result of acids from food, beverages, and oral bacteria eroding a tooth’s healthy enamel. To prevent this from occurring, you need to accomplish two things – keeping your teeth clean of most oral bacteria, and neutralizing the bacteria that do remain. For instance, brushing your teeth at least twice and flossing at least once a day helps stop the buildup of plaque that results from oral bacteria accumulation. Avoiding too much sugar and drinking plenty of water will help limit the activity of any bacteria that do build up on your teeth. While tooth decay is common, you can even prevent it if it’s already occurred in one of your teeth.
Why it’s both simple and complex
The good news is that tooth decay is highly preventable, and when you’re consistent with good hygiene and preventive care, it can often be much simpler than it seems. Once you realize that plaque and oral bacteria are the biggest factors in cavity development, preventing it can seem easy. However, most people believe they’re good at keeping their teeth clean with good hygiene, despite lacking in certain ways that can still leave their teeth vulnerable. For example, oral bacteria are a consistent threat to your teeth, not an occasional one. That means you have to consistently brush and floss your teeth every day, without skipping a single session. It also means being cautious of how often you allow oral bacteria to produce harmful acids and attack your tooth enamel.
Learn about preventing tooth decay
Everyone has the power to prevent tooth decay from forming, but doing it consistently may take more care and attention than you realize. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Allen & Neumann Family Dentistry in Pella, IA, today at (641) 628-1121.