A Guide to Cavity Prevention
Imagine this – you have come to see Highlands Ranch dentists at Twiss Dental for a cleaning and routine checkup. The cleaning goes well, but then Dr. Twiss, Baller, or Robinson tells you that you have a cavity. You’ve been dreading the possibility of this news and now you fear that something must be wrong, since you have been brushing and flossing regularly.
At Twiss Dental, we see this happen every day and we want to put your mind at ease. Cavities are very common and usually a simple fix. Use this guide to learn about what cavities are and how you can prevent them.
Cavities: The Basics
Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which is a byproduct of too much plaque. Here’s how it works: bacteria are already present in the oral cavity, and when we eat, the bacteria break down any food left behind in our mouths as we chew and swallow. The bacteria feed on what food leaves behind and grows into formations called plaque. Remarkably, it only takes 20 minutes for plaque to form on your teeth after eating!
The bacteria growing in plaque produces acid, which breaks down the tooth surface. Plaque is corrosive to the outer layer of your teeth (enamel). Left to its own devices, plaque will likely result in tooth decay, which literally causes decay in the structure of your teeth. Both enamel and dentin (the layer beneath enamel) may be damaged during this process, and a cavity can often form as a result.
How to Prevent Cavities
Now that you know the cavity’s life story, it’s time to find out how to keep your teeth protected! First of all, it’s important to understand that the majority of people will get at least one cavity in their lifetime, and although cavities most often affect children, it is possible for people of all ages to get them at any time. How do you prevent them? Drs. Twiss, Baller. & Robinson recommend these tips:
- Brush and floss at least twice a day, every day, especially after eating sugary or starchy foods! These foods transform into cavity-forming acid with ease.
- Mouthwash/rinses and fluoridated pastes help your teeth stay protected.
- Watch for common warning signs- tooth pains or aches, particularly when caused by foods/beverages that are cold, hot, and/or sweet.
- Come see us at Twiss Dental for your cleanings and check-ups. We are experts at stopping cavities in their tracks and we love to see confident Highlands Ranch smiles.
If you still fear cavities, that’s OK. We just want you to know that they are quite common and you should never be embarrassed or ashamed about having one. That being said, it is not a good idea to ignore them. Eventually, cavities can cause tooth discoloration and even lead to actual holes in your teeth.
Don’t fret! Your Highlands Ranch dentist office is equipped with modern X-ray and laser technology capable of detecting cavities early. Please feel free to contact us at Twiss Dental with questions any time and make sure to come in regularly for your check-ups. Schedule an appointment today!
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
About Tyler Twiss, DMD, MBA
Dr. Twiss grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is married with four children and loves being involved with them as they grow up. Dr. Twiss has spent extensive time in advancing his dental education. He received his Fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, spending over 150 hours in training with world-renowned implant pioneer Dr. Carl Misch. In addition to dental implants, Dr. Twiss has extensive training in orthodontics, Invisalign®, laser gum surgery, and CEREC® one-visit porcelain crown technology.