Is There a Secret to Preventing Cavities?

In the age of self-help everything, one of the most common ways people look to improve their oral health is to find the secret to preventing cavities. The truth, however, is that there is no secret. The keys to cavity prevention are things that most have known since we were children—brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, visit your dentist at least twice a year, and try to refrain from eating too much sugar.

What a Cavity Really Is

To prevent a cavity, it helps to know what a cavity is. When oral bacteria convert sugar and carbs into acid, they weaken the mineralized enamel that surrounds your teeth. Before long, harmful bacteria can slip past holes in your enamel, leading to tooth decay. As tooth decay progresses, it leaves a hole in your tooth, or cavity. Preventing the cavity means preventing the tooth decay that causes it, which is largely a product of inadequate hygiene and preventive dental care.

How Cavity Prevention Works

Oral bacteria play the most significant roles in tooth decay formation. Certain types, such as Streptococcus mutans, produce the organic acids that eat away at healthy tooth enamel. Numerous others can lead to an infection in your tooth when they’re allowed to interact with your main tooth structure. The best way to prevent cavities (as well as other oral bacteria-related dental issues) is to control harmful bacteria by brushing them off your teeth and gums at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Visiting your dentist for routine checkup and cleaning appointments will also help ensure that calcified bacterial plaque, called tartar, doesn’t remain too long and increase your risks of cavity development.

Learn More About Successfully Preventing Cavities

There is no secret trick to preventing tooth decay and cavities. On the contrary, keeping your smile safe requires persistent good hygiene and routine preventive dental care. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.