According to Dr. Vo Van Nhan, cavities refer to tooth decay, which occurs when specific types of bacteria produce acid that destroys the tooth’s enamel and its underlying layer, the dentin.
Many different types of bacteria live in our mouths and build up on the teeth in a sticky film called dental plaque. When we eat and drink, these bacteria create acids, which can dissolve the protective layer beneath the retained plaque. The acid removes minerals from the enamel, which if left untreated can cause a cavity. Decay begins in the main portion of the tooth (the enamel) and as the enamel is broken down the decay can go deeper into the dentin and can eventually reach the nerve (pulp) of the tooth.
There are a variety of ways to help prevent cavities which include:
- Brushing and flossing daily; this will help reduce the amount of dental plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
- Eating sugary or starchy foods less often during the day to help reduce the amount of tooth-damaging acids in your mouth.
- Use of fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens teeth, as well as fluoride treatments provided by the dentist or taking fluoride supplements as recommended by the dentist.
- Using antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause cavities.
- Chewing gum that contains xylitol; this can help decrease bacterial growth.
- Regular examination every 6 months
In case of cavities caused by braces, preventions should be enhanced by:
- Pay more attention on oral hygiene, especially braces areas. Soft brushes for braces is recommended. Flosses and interdental brushes are required to clean all the stucked food. Minor slot should be filled to prevent cavity development.
- If milky spot appear on the surface of the tooth, it is a sign of formation of cavities. You should come to dentist immediately.
Nhan Tam Dental Clinic