There is a constant battle taking place in your mouth. One one side, we have the bad bacteria in your mouth that live to feed on food residue containing your dietary sugar and starches. But on the other side you have our whole team at Today’s Dental and your own oral hygiene routine to combat the formation of tooth decay and cavities. Today, we want to talk about how a cavity forms and how you can defend yourself from cavity-causing bacteria.
How Do Cavities Form?
Your tooth enamel may be the hardest surface in your body, but it is not invincible. Holes, called cavities, form when acids in your mouth gradually weaken and wear away your tooth enamel. The bad bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches and produce these acids as a by-product. If you do not practice good oral hygiene, debris and bacteria also accumulate into a sticky film called plaque, which can cause gums to become swollen and tender.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Cavity?
It may surprise you to learn that the speed at which a cavity can form depends on your age! The enamel in baby teeth is softer and more likely to develop cavities than adult teeth — a great reason to make sure your kids are practicing superb oral hygiene every day. In adults, cavities can form over months or even years. For this reason, we recommend visits to our office every six months so we can make check whether your teeth are strong and healthy. Our team can spot and treat a developing cavity long before you may notice any problem.
Cavity Prevention Tips
Regular visits to our office are not the only thing you need to do to care for your teeth! Your at-home oral hygiene is critical for maintaining a healthy smile. Be sure you’re brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once each day, drinking plenty of water, eating a nutritious diet, and chewing only sugar-free gum. To ask our team any questions about how to prevent cavities or to schedule your next checkup at one of our dental offices, contact us today!