Do you have questions about tooth decay? People are all ages are at risk of developing cavities, from children to seniors. But what causes a cavity to form? Understanding the process, as well as the risk factors behind it, can help protect your smile. With the right changes to your lifestyle, you can go a long way towards preventing the onset of tooth decay.
Question: How does a cavity form?
Answer: Our teeth are coated in a protective layer of enamel. When the enamel becomes compromised, bacteria can bypass the enamel and reach the inner dentin, causing a cavity to from. Injury and poor oral hygiene can damage enamel and make tooth decay more likely.
Question: Does what we eat impact our risk?
Answer: Yes! When we eat foods high in sugar and other starches, the sugar particles are broken down by bacteria, leading to plaque buildup, which weakens tooth enamel. In addition, drinks high in sugar and/or acids can lead to enamel erosion, such as soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks. We recommend drinking water and adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet.
Question: Should we brush and floss?
Answer: You need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Doing so can remove food particles, preventing the plaque buildup that can weaken tooth enamel. You should brush once in the morning and again at night for at least two minutes. We also suggest flossing each night before going to bed.
Question: How does the dentist treat a cavity?
Answer: We will place a filling. Instead of metal, ours are made from composite resin, a lifelike material that can be shaded to better blend with the tooth. We can place one in a single visit, protecting your tooth from infection and other complications of tooth decay.
Our dentists can offer treatment for tooth decay, protecting your smile from discomfort and the risk of infection. Schedule an appointment today. Contact us at our local Austin, TX office at 512-250-9444.