Kavanaugh Dentistry


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What Do You Know About Cavities?

The reason a lot of people are scared to come to the dentist is that they don’t want to hear that they have a cavity. This is why we recommend dental checkups at least twice a year. Since cavities are one of the most common problems we run into in the dental industry, we thought it might be important to inform you on how cavities are formed and how to help yourself avoid them with a couple of tips. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that the number one reason for cavities is sugar overload. Yes, both of our tips have to do with how to avoid sugar.

How cavities are formed

Everybody has an abundant amount of bacteria in their mouth. The bacteria are necessary to the dynamics of your oral health. When ingesting sugary foods and drinks, the sugar mixes with some of the bacteria and generates an acid that breaks down the enamel on your teeth. In case you don’t know what enamel is, it is the protective layer on the outside of your teeth that give them that smooth feeling and their shine. If enough of the acid forms, that is where the hole forms in your tooth, which is a cavity. There is a process called demineralization, where the acids are attacking the minerals of your enamel. Luckily, there is a process called remineralization, where your saliva washes away the acid and attempts to repair the damaged enamel. If you continue to eat and drink sugary goods, the remineralization process will not be able to do its job. 

Tips to avoid cavities

1. Don’t buy sugary snacks

This will help you in two ways. If you avoid buying sugary snacks, you won’t have a chance to eat them later. Have you ever noticed that even if you buy the snacks for somebody else, you seem to get into the box sooner or later? It is better not to have access to sugary foods in general. That way you have no option to eat them. The second benefit is you will save yourself a bunch of money at the grocery store if you are only buying breakfasts, lunches, and dinners instead of a hundred extra dollars of useless snacks.

2. Read food labels

This is a little bit of extra work, but it will make you much more informed about what you are putting into your body. Brand name companies have expert marketing teams to make something that is 3/4th sugar sound ultra-healthy. Something the marketing teams are not allowed to tamper with is the ingredients on the back. Beware of the code names they have for sugar though. They try to sneak it by you sometimes by using molasses, sucrose, and other ingredients that aren’t technically sugar but do the same amount of damage to your teeth.

This blog isn’t supposed to scare you away from eating or drinking anything with sugar altogether. It is only meant to inform you to have sugar in moderation. If you have your coffee with a few packets of sugar, try cutting it down to one packet or even just a half of one.

Everybody is different, so when you come in, we can chat about what habits you have and if you should modify your diet or not. We want what is best for you and your teeth!