Imagine this – you have come to see Germantown dentists Dr. Edmond Liu & Dr. Chung Lin for a cleaning and routine checkup. The cleaning goes well, but then Dr. Liu or Dr. Lin 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 Clarksburg Dental Center, 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? Dr. Liu & Dr. Lin recommends 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 Clarksburg Dental Center for your cleanings and check-ups. We are experts at stopping cavities in their tracks and we love to see confident Germantown 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 Germantown dentist office is equipped with modern X-ray and laser technology capable of detecting cavities early. Please feel free to contact us at Clarksburg Dental Center 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.