Cavities are what you get from tooth decay, which causes damage to the tooth. Tooth decay can affect both the outer coating of a tooth, called enamel and the inner layer, called dentin.
A cavity is a hole that can grow bigger and deeper over time. Cavities are also called dental caries and if you have a cavity, it's important to get it repaired.
When foods with carbohydrates like bread, cereal, milk, soda, fruit, cake or candy stay on your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth turn them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris and your saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel, creating holes called cavities.
Caries caught in the very early stages can be reversed. White spots may indicate early caries that has not yet eroded through the enamel. Early caries may be reversed if acid damage is stopped and the tooth is given a chance to repair itself naturally.
Treatment depends on how bad the cavity is. Most often, the dentist removes the decayed portion of your tooth with a drill. He fills in the hole with a filling made of either silver alloy, gold, porcelain, or a composite resin. These materials are safe.
Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after every meal or at least twice a day. Bedtime is an important time to brush.
Brush up and down in a circular motion.
Gently brush your gums as well to keep them healthy.
Remember to change your toothbrush when it looks worn, or every three months, because the newer the bristles, the more plaque the brush is able to remove.
Clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaner to remove plaque and food that's stuck between your teeth.
Culled from Staywellworld blog post dated July 24, 2017.
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