Preventing cavities plays a big role in having a healthy smile, but there are risk factors that can increase the chances of cavities. Today, we are going to be looking at those risk factors, giving you an idea of what you can do to help mindfully mitigate these factors, and hopefully giving you something to smile about in the process!
Where is the tooth located?
Be aware that the location of your teeth plays a factor in their susceptibility to dental decay. Specifically, the teeth in the back, the molars (and premolars) are the most at-risk. This is because they are hard to reach and clean for plaque removal, and also because their surface is large, with pits and fissures on the top where oral debris can accumulate. Not only is brushing a challenge for these teeth, flossing is difficult because of their location also allowing detrimental plaque formation between the teeth.
Are Your Food and Drinks Cavity-Promoting?
Plaque (the sticky bacterial film that coats your teeth allowing acid formation from the bacteria) is more prevalent with certain kinds of foods that you consume. The kinds of food you regularly eat increase the chances of cavities thanks to plaque formation. Sugary and starchy foods cling to teeth and promoting tooth decay. Saliva helps wash away oral debris, so foods that can be washed away by your saliva, include celery, apples, and carrots all help your teeth stay clean. Be wary of heavy use of milk, honey, soda, dried fruit, chips, as they are just a few choices that can lead to dental caries unless you brush after consuming them.
Are Your Pearly Whites Bathing in Acid?
If you like to snack, you should know that sipping or noshing on foods and drinks all day long feed the bacteria in your mouth that produce acids that wear down your tooth enamel. For example, if you like your soda and drink it all day, your teeth are in a constant acid bath. You may consider limiting your soda consumption, or drinking it through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
Some additional risk factors for cavity creation include dry mouth, a condition where you do not produce enough saliva (which normally helps protect teeth), not brushing often enough or not brushing soon after eating, and worn-out dental fillings or ill-fitting dental devices that allow plaque to build up and collect.
To mitigate these risk factors, do your part by brushing and flossing daily, seeing your dentist for periodic cleanings and exams, stay hydrated, eat healthy, and limit snacking. To schedule your next dental cleaning with one of our caring dentists, Dr. Thomas Cox, and Dr. David Manegold, please call our Cox and Manegold Dentistry team in West Chester, Ohio at 513-777-5513 today!