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If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of cavities, see your dentist right away to take care of the problem before it gets worse.
- You have a toothache.
Toothaches are most commonly caused by cavities that are in the process of forming. However, toothaches also can be caused by sinus infections. If your health has remained the same and a toothache comes on suddenly, it’s likely a cavity and you should let your dentist confirm and treat it.
- You have a sensitive spot.
Sensitive teeth don’t always mean you have a cavity, but if you’re experiencing pain when eating something acidic, hot, cold, or sweet, it could be a cavity. These types of food and drinks tend to stimulate the nerves inside your teeth, which causes the pain. A visit to your dentist will confirm if you have a cavity that needs to be taken care of or if you have sensitive teeth, which also can be cared for.
- You can see the cavity.
As cavities form, they start as a small white spot on your tooth. As it gets worse, the cavity can turn brown or black and get deeper into your tooth. If you see spots on your teeth, you need to visit your dentist right away to get the proper care.
Even if you are not experiencing any of these symptoms of cavities, they may be developing inside your mouth. This is why it’s important to see your dentist regularly — at least twice a year — for cleanings and check-ups.
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is a hole formed from decaying enamel. Enamel is the hard protective layer on top of your teeth. It can be weakened by acid over time. Cavities occur when foods with carbohydrates get trapped between your teeth and aren’t removed with brushing or flossing. Bacteria then builds up and produces acidity that breaks down enamel.
Ways to Prevent Cavities
Preventing cavities is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some things you can do to prevent cavities:
- Brush Thoroughly
It’s recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, but if you’re struggling with cavities, brushing after every meal may help. Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Limit your Sugar Intake
Sugary foods (such as candy and soda) help bacteria thrive in your mouth. Sticky candy can stay in your mouth for longer and cause even more tooth decay.
- Floss Every Day
Flossing gets out all those food particles that get stuck in between your teeth. If those food particles aren’t removed, bacteria builds up and causes cavities.
- Use Mouth Wash
In addition to flossing, use a mouth wash to held remove food particles and prevent plaque build-up.
- Use Products with Flouride
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay so make sure your oral hygiene products contain fluoride.
- Visit your Dentist
See your dentist twice a year for cleanings. Even with proper oral hygiene, plaque can still build up. This can only be removed by a dental professional.