What Causes Cavities & How Are They Prevented?

father brushes his teeth with his young daughter at the bathroom sink

Preventing oral complications is something all patients should strive to do. Cavity prevention is particularly important, as these seemingly innocuous little holes can grow into big problems for more than just your oral health.

What Are Cavities?

In short, cavities are tooth decay, but how the decay starts can vary. Some of the most common causes of cavities are plaque formation and tartar buildup not removed by regular oral care or dental visits. Plaque is acidic and removes the minerals from your tooth’s enamel and burrows deeper until it reaches the inside pulp of your tooth.

Cavity Prevention

Cavity prevention can be as simple as keeping up with your oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and sometimes rinsing with fluoridated, anti-bacterial mouthwash are great ways to slow plaque accumulation between regular cleanings at your dentist.

While brushing and flossing may seem like obvious preventive measures, here are some lesser-known ways to beat back plaque:

  • Dental Sealants: If you don’t have fillings or damaged teeth, dental sealants can be a great way to protect your teeth. This thin layer of resin is brushed over teeth almost like a clear coat of nail polish to prevent bacteria from reaching your teeth.
  • Tap Water: If you live in the United States, most tap water is fluoridated. Drinking this helps to keep you hydrated and gives your teeth access to much-needed fluoride.
  • Foods: Fresh fruits and vegetables increase your saliva production, and some help scrub plaque from your teeth. Unsweetened coffee, tea, and gum can also help to wash away food particles. Be mindful that some of these can lead to stained teeth.

Dental Fillings & Crowns in Littleton, Colorado!

At Summit Family Dentistry, we’re dedicated to providing exceptional, gentle dental care to you and your family. If you’re struggling with a painful cavity or need to make another type of appointment, call us today!

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Summit Family Dentistry

Summit Family Dentistry