When you visit your general dentist for a routine examination, you might discover that you have a cavity. Dentists look closely at a person's teeth to find cavities, as they know that they destroy teeth. Have you ever wondered what causes cavities to form? Have you wondered why you get them even though you brush your teeth? Here are several essential things to understand about cavities on your teeth.
An Explanation of What a Cavity Is
A cavity is decay, which is something that destroys the structure of a tooth. Decay often begins as a sticky spot on a tooth. Dentists look for these spots by sticking a sharp, pointy tool inside each tooth during an examination. If the dentist finds a sticky spot, it typically means that a cavity is just beginning to form on that tooth. After a sticky spot forms, the spot might begin to turn black. When this happens, the decay has spread and is now consuming more of the tooth's structure. If left on the tooth, it will spread and grow. If left for years, it will consume an entire tooth and might spread to nearby teeth.
How a Cavity Forms
Cavities form on teeth when teeth contain plaque. Plaque is something you always have on your teeth, but it is also something you can remove by brushing your teeth. When you do not remove it fast enough or thoroughly, it remains on your teeth and feeds on sugars you consume. When this occurs, acid forms, and this acid is what leads to cavities.
Ways to Prevent Them from Forming
If you brush your teeth daily, you can still develop cavities. If you want to prevent them, you might need to adjust your daily oral care routine. First, you must brush your teeth at least two times a day, and you need to brush for two to three minutes each time. Next, you need to floss your teeth. If you currently do not do this, you might develop cavities from a lack of flossing. Finally, you might want to use a fluoride mouth rinse before bed to protect your teeth even more, as fluoride strengthens teeth.
With the right oral care habits, you can prevent most cavities from forming. You might still develop a small one occasionally, though, which is why you should visit a dental office every six months. To learn more about cavities, talk to a general dentist in your city.