Even kids understand that cavities are no fun. Often the goal is to leave the dentist and proudly exclaim “No cavities!” But that is not always the case. Cavities are a common dental problem for all ages. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lessen the risk of this early form of tooth decay, giving you a better chance of leaving with a smile.
What Causes Cavities?
Several factors can contribute to cavities, and each can be minimized with proper care. Some of the top risk factors for cavities are:
Improper Brushing or Flossing: Sorry, but there’s no way around it. The best way to avoid cavities it to brush and floss properly every day. Doing so regularly helps remove plaque and prevent buildup that can lead to problems.
Certain Foods and Drinks: Sugary drinks or foods that cling to the teeth promote tooth decay and increase the risk of cavities. Soda, juice, sticky candy, honey and even starchy things such as bread and cereals are all culprits. Avoiding them all the time isn’t realistic, but it’s best to limit your intake as much as possible and always brush directly afterwards.
Infrequent Dental Visits: We realized that a trip to the dentist won’t make the list favorite activities, but it’s imperative to schedule them regularly. Regular cleanings promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities from forming. Additionally, you can discuss proper dental hygiene and any concerns with your dentist or hygienist to ensure the best possible health.
Drinking Only Bottled Water: Drinking bottled water instead of tap water isn’t uncommon these days, but one thing to keep in mind is the fluoride content. Most bottled waters do not contain fluoride, which is typically found in tap water from public water supplies. Fluoride is good for the teeth because it helps protect enamel from plaque buildup. Some bottled waters do have fluoride, so if you have questions about the amount you or your kids are receiving talk to your dental provider.
Receding gums. If your gums are receding, your teeth may be at greater risk for decay. The exposed area near the roots aren’t protected by tooth enamel, making it easier for plaque to form. If you’re concerned about receding gums your dental provider can provide solutions to lessen the risk of decay.