What Causes a Cavity?
Tooth decay, or cavities, can be a problem for anyone, regardless of age. A cavity is a little hole on the tooth that appears when acid-producing bacteria destroy tooth enamel, which is the hard outer layer of the tooth. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and if not removed with proper brushing and flossing the enamel of your teeth can break down and result in a cavity.
How to Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay
Here are some tips for preventing cavities and tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner
- Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking, especially high-sugar foods and drinks
- Check with your dentist about the use of supplemental fluoride and dental sealants to protect your teeth from decay
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and examinations
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