How Do Cavities Form?

Understanding Cavities Can Help Prevent Them 

Cavities, also called dental caries, are the most prevalent dental problem, affecting people of all ages. Most children are familiar with cavities, and how they’ll develop if they fail to brush their teeth. But having a thorough understanding of how cavities form makes it easier to prevent them before they become worse. Discover more about cavities, including what they are and how they can develop. 

What’s a Cavity? 

The simplest definition is that a cavity is a hole in your tooth. This weakens your teeth and may cause pain and discomfort. Another negative aspect of cavities is that they set the tone for worsening dental problems down the line. To keep your smile healthy and strong, it’s important to try and keep all your teeth clean and free from cavities. 

How Do Cavities Develop? 

When you eat sugary foods and breads, they stick to your teeth, attracting bacteria that feed on these substances. As this bacteria gathers, it becomes plaque, a residue that’s responsible for a wide range of dental problems. 

When it isn’t removed through brushing and flossing, plaque eventually hardens into tartar, a much more difficult substance to clean. Only your dentist can remove tartar – it’s too tough to be brushed off with your toothbrush. Dr. Hart has special tools that can manually eliminate tartar. 

The outer layer of your teeth is called the enamel, and when plaque clings to the surface of your teeth, it eats through this enamel creating craters and then holes in your teeth. These are known as cavities and they can cause irreparable damage if not treated early. 

Preventing Cavities

As you can see from how cavities are caused, they’re only possible when plaque accumulates on your teeth. By brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, you can eliminate plaque before the bacteria is able to eat through your teeth and develop into cavities. Following these tips will help you avoid cavities altogether: 

  • Brush your teeth for 2-minutes twice each day. 
  • Floss between each of your teeth once per day. 
  • Rinse daily with a mouthwash that fights plaque. 
  • Attend your biannual dental cleanings. 
  • See your dentist if any pain or abnormalities develop in your mouth. 
  • Eat a diet that’s low in sugar, since sugar is the main cause of cavities. 

See Dr. Darlene Hart to Treat and Prevent Cavities

At Sweet Hart Dental, we strive to give our patients the best possible care. We provide thorough cleanings that will ensure your mouth stays free from the plaque and tartar that lead to cavities. If you’ve been experiencing any problems with your teeth or you’re simply due for your next dental appointment, contact our team in Pembroke Pines today.