Kids hate going to the dentist because they fear white lab coats and unfamiliar tools. As adults, many of us also hate going to the dentist because we fear the news the dentist will tell us. While ignorance may be bliss, knowing how to avoid the dreaded cavity will have you looking forward to your next dentist appointment so you can show off your progress!
To start off with, let’s take a look at what a cavity actually is. We all are familiar with the term and the undesirable feelings it brings about, but how do they occur and what exactly are they? A cavity is a space inside the tooth that is caused by plaque. Plaque is a colourless, sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It is one of the main causes of tooth decay, and this decay is what eats away at your teeth and causes the space, or cavity, to form. Brushing and flossing are something we do daily and this activity is done to remove the plaque. There are bacteria in the plaque that when mixed when sugars from our food, they create an acid that attacks and weakens our natural tooth enamel. The wearing down of enamel leaves the tooth unprotected, allowing for cavities to form more easily.
If you or your dentist has discovered a cavity in your mouth, it is best to treat it as soon as possible. Not treating a cavity once it has been detected will cause it to continue to expand, making it quite difficult to restore with a conventional filling. Once it reaches a certain point, only a dental crown will be able to fix it. Further decay causes the blood and nerve vessels to become irritated and inflamed, and at this stage, a root canal is the only option for restoration. The final call would be extraction, in the event that the tooth has reached a point of complete decay. Thus, it is very important to take treatment once you have detected the cavity. Saving it early on will allow you to continue on with your normal life without much disruption to your routine.
Of course, prevention is the best method in ensuring your teeth remain cavity free. Some easy things you can do are to make sure you brush your teeth twice daily, use toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride – an agent which helps strengthen teeth, floss daily to get in between the spaces of your teeth and remove any plaque build up, follow a healthy diet by avoiding sugary drinks and foods as much as possible, visit your dentist regularly for a thorough cleaning, and change your toothbrush every 3 months or as soon as it starts to look worn.
Following these simple steps is a great way to avoid the dreaded cavity we all fear. Keeping up with your oral hygiene and paying attention to your teeth will benefit you in the long run, and will ensure you keep your teeth clean and looking healthy and white! Contact us to book an appointment or to learn more about your oral health.