children's dentist

How Are Cavities Formed in the First Place?

Posted on March 17, 2023

children's dentist

Over a quarter of U.S. adults aged 20-44 have untreated cavities, according to the CDC. With so many people potentially at risk, it’s important to understand how cavities form in the first place. Armed with the power of knowledge, help from children’s dentists, and healthy habits, you can do your best to fight against cavities forming in the first place!

Sugar and Starch

Foods and drinks with sugars, such as candy and soft drinks, are the biggest culprits when it comes to cavities. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars, producing an acid that attacks your teeth and weakens them over time. Starchy foods like chips can also get stuck in your teeth and break down into sugar, leading to a buildup of bacteria. In addition, drinks with high levels of acid, like soda and energy drinks, can also damage your teeth over time. Most children’s dentists can recommend nutritional information and diet to help prevent cavities.

How Bacteria Attack Teeth

The acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth slowly eats away at the enamel of your teeth. This process happens slowly, but it can quickly lead to a cavity if it isn’t taken care of. In addition, your saliva helps to neutralize the acid and maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth. Unfortunately, dry mouth and dehydration can worsen how bacteria wear away the enamel. As bacteria feed on the sugars and starches, they create a sticky film known as plaque which builds up around the teeth and gums. Plaque can cause further damage to your teeth, leading to cavities and even gum disease and periodontal disease if left untreated.

Preventing Bacteria

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent bacteria from attacking your teeth. The most important thing you can do is brush and floss regularly. This will help to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Additionally, it’s best to avoid sugary drinks and snacks as much as possible. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will ensure your teeth are getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Finally, make sure you’re visiting your dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups.

By understanding how cavities form and taking the necessary steps to prevent them, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy! For more information about cavity prevention and treatment, be sure to speak with your dentist. Call Jacaranda Smiles to schedule a cleaning today!

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Monday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday By Appointment Only

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