“You have a cavity.” It’s the one of the things patients least likely want to hear during a dental checkup. For one thing, it means you’ll probably have to get it filled, and, on another note, it means you might not have been as diligent in your oral hygiene regimen as you should have. Some people are just more prone to getting cavities, like those with deep grooves in their teeth, but there are some things you can do to prevent cavities. Today, our Mansfield dentists Dr. Blair Jones and Dr. Seth Harris want you to know what you can do to prevent cavities.

What Causes Cavities?

Your mouth is full of bacteria. Some of these bacteria are helpful, but other harmful bacteria gather on the enamel of the teeth and start to grow. Additional bacteria attach to this bacteria and mixes with proteins in your saliva to form a sticky, whitish film called plaque. Plaque combines with sugars in the foods and beverages we consume and creates acids that eat tooth enamel, causing cavities.

Don’t Feed the Beast

One way to reduce your risk of cavities is to avoid foods and drinks high in sugar and/or acids. Soda is just about the worst thing for your teeth. It’s loaded with sugar and acids. Even diet drinks are terrible for teeth because the artificial sweeteners are acidic and erode tooth enamel. Starchy foods, though not sweet, are quickly broken down into sugars that in turn begin the tooth decay process.

Attack it at the Source

Since plaque causes tooth decay, taking steps to remove plaque is ammunition in the fight against cavities. To combat plaque, brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Brushing alone is not enough to remove plaque between teeth and below the gumline. Floss once a day to remove food and plaque from teeth and gums.

Schedule an Appointment

You can improve your chances of staying cavity-free by practicing proper oral hygiene at home, but that will only get you so far. Brushing and flossing still won’t remove all the plaque and tartar on and between teeth. That’s why it’s important to schedule cleanings and checkups every six months. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris, contact our Mansfield dental office at (817) 259-1357. We serve patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvaredo, Midlothian, and the 76063 area code.