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How to Stop Tooth Decay and Prevent Cavities

December 8, 2022 / DENTISTRY

Cavities are no fun.

Some people are just unlucky and are born with weaker teeth with thinner enamel, both of which can increase the chances of developing a cavity. But did you know that in many cases, cavities can be prevented?

Keep reading to learn how.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a permanent hole or opening in a tooth. When a person has a cavity, they likely feel pain and discomfort because the nerve inside the tooth is no longer protected by the tooth enamel and is now exposed to the elements.

How do cavities form?

Teeth are covered by a hard material called enamel, which protects the softer internal layers of the tooth from exposure to food, drinks, and the elements. When plaque builds up on the tooth, it releases acids that begin to break down the enamel. If the plaque deposit is left on the surface of the tooth for too long, eventually these acids will erode the enamel enough to cause an opening or hole. This is a cavity.

How do I prevent cavities?

Great question! The best way to prevent cavities is to avoid plaque buildup on your teeth, and if you do have plaque buildup, to have it removed as soon as possible.

Here’s how to accomplish that:

  1. Eat healthy, nutritious foods that are low in sugar and acids. When left on your teeth, sugar and acids erode enamel and cause cavities. By avoiding consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar and acid, you can reduce the likelihood of developing cavities.
  2. Drink plenty of water. Nobody is perfect and most of us indulge in sugary foods and beverages every now and then. When you do, be sure to drink plenty of water to help rinse away these damaging materials from your teeth.
  3. Brush and floss regularly. A thorough, consistent oral healthcare routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing daily will help you remove the plaque-causing materials from your teeth before they have time to cause damage.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly. Your regular dental visits give your dentist and hygienist the chance to identify plaque deposits and remove them before too much damage occurs.

If you are experiencing dental pain and are concerned you may have a cavity, or if you’re overdue for a dental checkup, call our team at Dentistry on Sheppard in North York to schedule an appointment today. Our office is conveniently located on Sheppard Ave, just East from Yonge Street. Ample, free parking is available at our building. New patients and emergencies are always welcome. Dr. Mark Cloth would be thrilled to look after your smile.

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