What Causes Cavities?

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. If you're seeing cavities and gum disease over long periods of time, you could be at risk of losing your teeth. Don't wait until it's too late. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will keep your smile bright and healthy.

What Is a Cavity?

Plaque is the sticky film that forms on your teeth after you eat. This plaque contains bacteria that feed on sugar to create acid. The acid eats away at your tooth's enamel to create the hole in your tooth called a cavity.

What Causes Cavities in Children?

Childhood tooth decay is the most common chronic illness in children. It affects far more children than asthma or allergies. Don't make the mistake of thinking that good oral hygiene doesn't matter for children because they're going to lose their teeth.

  • Tooth decay can cause pain.

  • Children can develop infections from tooth decay.

  • Good oral hygiene is a great habit for kids to learn.

Improper Brushing and Flossing

Many children don't know how to brush and floss properly. Many adults don't either, for that matter. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for tips on proper teeth cleaning techniques. Practice at home with your children.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Children

  • If your child uses a sippy cup between meals, only fill it with water.

  • Don't let your child go to sleep with a sippy cup filled with juice, milk or anything except water.

  • Get regular dental appointments for the whole family.

What Causes Cavities in Adults?

Improper Dental Hygiene

This is the reason for most adult tooth decay. If you're not brushing after every meal and at bedtime, you could be at high risk of developing tooth decay.

Many people dislike flossing, but it's an important part of oral hygiene. You should floss at least once a day. Ask your dental hygienist to show you the proper techniques.

Eating Too Much Sugar

We all know that eating too much sugar can cause tooth decay. What you might not realize is how many foods are high in sugar. Dairy products, sodas, bread, cereal, condiments, salad dressings, and fruit juices are all high-sugar foods.

Old Fillings

If you've had fillings for several years, they might be leaky or weak. Leaky fillings allow food and bacteria to accumulate around the tooth. Regular dental checkups will allow your dentist to monitor those old fillings and replace them if necessary.

Gum Disease

If you neglect your oral hygiene for a long time, you can develop gum disease. Gum disease causes bone loss around your teeth, resulting in them becoming loose. When you starting to experience bone loss, you will have pockets in your gums. Bacteria can take root in those pockets and cause further decay.

How to Prevent Cavities In Adults

  • Learn how to brush and floss properly.

  • Get dental checkups twice a year.

  • Avoid sugary foods.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Avoid cavities and gum disease with regular dental checkups, a healthy diet and good oral care at home. At Malan Family Dentistry, we can give you a thorough dental exam and prescribe the best course of treatment.

We'll help everyone in the family enjoy a bright smile and a healthy future. Call us today to schedule your first family appointment.