5 Common Causes of Cavities and How to Avoid Them

5 Common Causes of Cavities and How to Avoid Them

Posted on January 16, 2022

5 Common Causes of Cavities and How to Avoid Them

Nobody likes dealing with cavities. They’re not fun for kids or adults. What’s more, they can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. However, cavities are also remarkably common, with over 40% of all children developing cavities before they reach kindergarten. This may seem baffling, as we’re often told the basics of how to avoid cavities from a young age. But there’s more to avoiding cavities than what may initially meet the eye. With that being said, let’s look into some of the most common causes of cavities and how to prevent them.

1. Eating Certain Foods

Certain foods and drinks can make cavities much more likely. You may have already heard this from your children’s dentist, but it’s important to keep in mind.

Specifically, sugary drinks and foods like soda, juice, and candy can create a feeding ground for bacteria. The reason why is that sugar is full of carbohydrates, which bacteria are easily able to convert into acids. For the same reason, starchy foods are also advised against if you’d like to avoid cavities.

While your kids don’t have to avoid sugary or starchy foods entirely, cutting down on the consumption of these items and engaging in proper dental care can help reduce the risk of cavities.

2. Improper Flossing

It may be tricky to remind children (and yourself) to floss regularly. But it’s important! Flossing is meant to remove the kind of stubborn food that gets stuck between the teeth. When that food stays in place, it can create decay over time. Flossing can also improve gum health and help you avoid developing conditions like gingivitis. If you want your teeth to be truly clean, flossing is just as important as brushing.

3. Excess Plaque

Plaque is a substance created through bacteria, food, acid, and saliva. It’s a sticky matter that coats the teeth. If plaque builds up without being removed, it can cause cavities. You need to regularly brush your teeth after every meal to prevent the buildup of plaque. Remember to floss and use mouthwash, as well as visit your adult or children’s dentist regularly.

4. Certain Medication

Although this doesn’t mean you should forego prescribed medications, you should be aware that some medications may make you more prone to cavities. For example, antidepressants can cause dry mouth which contributes to the risk of cavities. If you or your kids take a daily medication, talk to your children’s dentist or your own dentist to assess the potential impact on your dental health.

5. Receding Gums

Yet another reason to floss is that it can help prevent gum recession. Periodontal diseases are just one cause of receding gums, however. This condition can also be genetic or related to hormones. Lifestyle habits like smoking or conditions like bruxism (teeth grinding) can result in gum recession, as well.

No matter the cause, this issue can increase your risk of developing cavities. Since the receding gums will more easily expose the tooth’s root, dental decay becomes more common. It’s even possible that teeth loss will occur. By starting visits at the children’s dentist early on and engaging in proper dental care habits, you can avoid or minimize this issue.

Remember: cavities are no joke. Do what you can to prevent them. That all starts with regular visits to the adult or children’s dentist. To learn more or to schedule a dental appointment, please contact us today.

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