The Dental Cavity is a hole in a tooth which results out because of the TOOTH DECAY process that happens over time.
Our mouths are full of bacteria. Hundreds of different types live on our teeth, gums, tongue and other places in our mouths. Some bacteria are helpful. But some are harmful which play a role in the tooth decay process.
Tooth decay is the result of an infection with certain types of bacteria that use sugars in food to make acids. Over time, these acids can make a cavity in the tooth.
HOW TOOTH CAVITY HAPPENS
Throughout the day, a tug of war takes place inside our mouths.
On one team are dental plaque—a sticky, colorless film of bacteria—plus foods and drinks that contain sugar or starch (such as milk, bread, cookies, candy, soda, juice, and many others). Whenever we eat or drink something that contains sugar or starch, the bacteria use them to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth’s hard outer surface, or enamel.
Our saliva can help fight off this acid attack. But if we eat frequently throughout the day — especially foods and drinks containing sugar and starches — The repeated acid attacks will eat away the tooth’s enamel., causing the tooth to lose minerals and eventually develop a cavity.
MEASURES to STOP DENTAL CAVITY
Regular Cleaning of the Teeth – Brushing the teeth twice per day and flossing between the teeth once a day is recommended followed by Mouth wash is recommended. Click to check the Perfect way to Brush and Floss
Use fluoride – Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing. It can even reverse, or stop, early tooth decay.
Fluoride works to protect teeth. It . . .
- prevents mineral loss in tooth enamel and replaces lost minerals
- reduces the ability of bacteria to make acid
You can get fluoride by:
- Drinking fluoridated water from a community water supply; about 74 percent of Americans served by a community water supply system receive fluoridated water. (If you have well water, see “Private Well Water and Fluoride” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
- Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste
Limit between-meal snacks – This reduces the number of acid attacks on teeth and gives teeth a chance to repair themselves.
Limit Sugary Items – Save candy, cookies, soda, and other sugary drinks for special occasions. Limit fruit juice. Follow the Daily Juice Recommendations
NO to Sugar at Bed Time – Make sure not to eat or drink anything with sugar in it around Bed-Time, since Saliva flow decreases during sleep. Without enough saliva, teeth are less able to repair themselves after an acid attack.
Dental sealants – are another good way to help avoid a cavity. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, or molars. The chewing surfaces of back teeth are rough and uneven because they have small pits and grooves. Food and bacteria can get stuck in the pits and grooves and stay there a long time because toothbrush bristles can’t easily brush them away. Sealants cover these surfaces and form a barrier that protects teeth and prevents food and bacteria from getting trapped there.
- The first permanent molars — called “6 year molars” — come in between the ages of 5 and 7.
- The second permanent molars — “12 year molars” — come in when a child is between 11 and 14 years old.
Regular dental Check-ups – Visit a dentist regularly for cleanings and an examination. During the visit the dentist or hygienist will:
- Remove dental plaque
- Check for any areas of early tooth decay
- Show you and your child how to thoroughly clean the teeth
- Apply a fluoride gel or varnish, if necessary
- Schedule your next regular check-up