There are things you can do to protect yourself against the damage that can arise from tooth decay. First, in your defense against cavity formation is awareness regarding their risk factors. If you are aware of these factors, you can give these areas attention before they become problems!
Location, location, location – where the tooth is located plays a factor in their susceptibility to dental decay. The molars (and premolars, in children) located in the back of the mouth are the most at-risk for cavities. They are hard to reach and clean, and because they have pits and fissures where oral debris can accumulate, they are not only difficult to brush, but flossing is difficult as well.
The caliber of your nourishment – do you eat healthy foods, or sugary, starch foods which can cling to your pearly whites, encouraging tooth decay? Plaque (a sticky bacterial film coating your teeth and creating acid formation) is more prevalent with certain types of foods and drinks. Saliva helps wash away oral debris, and can easily wash away foods like celery, apples, and carrots. However, milk, honey, soda, cookies, dried fruit, and chips are examples the kinds of food which saliva has difficulty rinsing away.
Snack producing acid baths – if you like to snack, sipping or snacking on foods and drink throughout the day feeds the bacteria in your mouth that produce acids. These acids erode precious tooth enamel. If you are a big fan of soda or fruit juice, limit your intake or drink them through a straw to minimize contact with teeth, alternate with and rinse with water often to encourage healthy saliva levels.
Other factors that often contribute to cavities include: dry mouth, a condition where you produce less than optimal saliva, not brushing often or soon enough after eating, and worn-out dental fillings can all contribute to cavity formation.
To lower your risk for these factors, take care to brush and floss daily, see your dentist for periodic cleanings and exams, stay hydrated, eat healthy, and limit snacking. To schedule your next dental cleaning with our dedicated dentist, Dr. Jeanine Nordeen, please call our Smiles Dental team in Lacey, Washington at 360.339.7499 today!