Fighting tooth decay is one of the primary goals of preventive dental care. Everyone is vulnerable to cavities — and some people are more prone to this oral health hazard than others. If you have questions about tooth decay, keep reading, because your dentist in Lancaster has the answers! Here’s the 411 on everything you need to know about cavities.
How Cavities Form
A cavity is a small hole that forms on the tooth enamel. When certain strains of bacteria that are naturally present in your mouth combine with the sugars in what you eat and drink, the result is harmful to the tooth enamel — and if it is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, this combination gradually weakens the surface and leads to a cavity.
While people of all ages and stages of life can get cavities, certain people are more vulnerable than others. Children, for instance, are the most likely to develop tooth decay when their permanent teeth are coming in. Older patients are also more vulnerable. People who eat a high-sugar diet or have saliva that with a low pH balance are more prone to cavities as well. In these cases, excellent oral hygiene and routine visits to the dentist are crucial for avoiding cavities and keeping the smile healthy.
Why Cavities Are Serious
A cavity that is not treated may eventually eat away at the tooth enamel until it affects the interior of the tooth, or the pulp. This is where sensitive nerves and tissue are housed — so you are likely to feel an infected tooth. You may not feel a cavity up until this point, though, so you should visit your dentist on a regular basis to have your smile screened for tooth decay and other oral health hazards. When ignored, cavities can lead to root canals and eventually tooth loss — both of which should be avoided at all costs.
Preventing Cavities Is Easy
Fortunately, there is good news in all of this. Cavities are 100% preventable through excellent oral hygiene habits. Some tips for avoiding cavities and keeping your smile healthy for a lifetime to come include:
- Brush teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day or after each meal
- Floss between teeth daily
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to remineralize the tooth enamel and prevent cavities
- Eat a balanced, nutritious, low-sugar diet
- Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning with X-rays
With the last point in mind, we would like to ask — when was your last visit to the dentist in Lancaster County? If it has been longer than 6 months, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment this week. Your healthy, long-lasting smile depends on routine prevention and early detection of cavities and other oral health issues!
Meet the Practice
Mor Smiles offers comprehensive general, preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental care from the comfort of a state-of-the-art practice. To learn more about cavity prevention or to schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning, feel free to contact the office at 717-961-5767.