You brush your teeth every morning and before bed each night. Yet when you go to your dental appointments, your dentist in McMinnville still finds cavities. When this happens, you may be asking yourself, “Why do I get cavities even if I take good care of my teeth?”, which can certainly be frustrating. So let’s take a closer look at where cavities come from and the best ways to avoid them.
Brushing Alone Isn’t Enough
You may still get cavities even if you brush your teeth religiously. You see, if you’re not also flossing daily, you’re not thoroughly removing bacteria and plaque buildup from each and every tooth. Flossing is an often overlooked part of daily dental care, but it’s an incredibly important part of protecting your teeth against cavities and other serious oral health concerns such as gum disease. In fact, most adult cavities form in between teeth where a standard toothbrush can’t reach and where food particles love to hide. When foodstuff isn’t removed, the bacteria with it will start to eat away at tooth enamel and eventually create a cavity. Take it from your dentist in McMinnville — the time it takes to floss daily is worth preventing a cavity from forming down the road.
Doesn’t Sugar Cause Cavities?
Many patients believe that sugar causes cavities, and while that’s not completely accurate, sugar intake is directly related to cavity formation. Even though sugar itself doesn’t cause cavities, the way it interacts with mouth bacteria does.
When we eat foods or drink beverages high in sugar and those sugars aren’t promptly removed from teeth, problems of plaque begin. Plaque is a clear, sticky film that covers your teeth. It forms when mouth bacteria feed on leftover sugars in the mouth. When this plaque isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar.
Once tartar develops, it can’t be removed through regular bushings at home and will need to be removed by your dentist in McMinnville. But that’s not all. Tartar can essentially protect bacteria and leave it alone to further attack teeth. When these bacteria feed they release an acidic byproduct. This acid attacks tooth enamel, causes erosion, and begins the process of decay. If not caught and treated early, this decay will continue to attack deep into the tooth and may require more than a dental filling – it may need a root canal and perhaps a dental crown.
Signs of a Cavity
In their early stages, cavities may not show any signs or symptoms, which is the best time to catch them as treatment is easier and faster. However, larger cavities can display some common signs such as:
If you notice signs of a cavity, see your dentist as soon as possible so you can get out of pain and protect yourself from further damage.
Since many cavities don’t show signs early on, it’s important to see your dentist in McMinnville every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. These appointments can help catch cavities when they’re little and easy to treat and before they have a chance to develop into something more serious.