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Anderson Atkins DDS Blog

Cavities are one of the most common health issues in America. They can affect young children, teenagers, and adults. There are multiple reasons cavities may occur. Bacteria that linger in your teeth from frequent snacking, drinking sugary drinks, and not cleaning your teeth correctly contribute to the formation of cavities. Cavities can lead to extreme toothaches, infection, or loss of the tooth. So, at the first sign of a cavity, schedule a visit with your dentist.

How do I know I have a cavity?

A cavity is also known as tooth decay. At the onset of the cavity, you may not have any symptoms. Symptoms increase as the decay gets larger and deeper in the tooth.

These are the signs of a cavity:

  • Spontaneous tooth pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Mild or sharp pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold
  • Visible holes in your teeth
  • Brown or black staining on the surface of your tooth
  • Pain associated with biting down

How can I prevent a cavity?

Cavities occur over time as plaque develops on the surface of your tooth and it begins to decay.

The good news is you can easily prevent cavities from forming by including the following things in your oral care.

  • Brush and floss your teeth. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Consider brushing and flossing after meals to remove lingering food particles or sugar substances that lead to plaque.
  • Use a mouth rinse. Rinse your mouth with a fluoride rinse to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums.
  • Schedule dental visits. Don’t wait until you think you have a cavity to call your dentist. Scheduling regular exams and cleanings will go a long way to prevent the formation of a cavity. 
  • Drink tap water. In most cities, tap water contains fluoride which aids in the prevention of tooth decay.
  • Avoid frequent drinking and snacking. Foods and beverages (besides water) meet with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid that slowly destroys your tooth enamel. By sipping sugary drinks and snacking throughout the day, your teeth are under constant attack.
  • Eat foods that promote healthy teeth. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to increase the saliva flow in your mouth and drink water or unsweetened tea and coffee to help wash away food particles. Avoid sticky and sugary snacks and treats that easily get stuck in your teeth.

‘Tis the season of popcorn, desserts, flavored lattes, and peppermint candy canes. We show our love for one another by exchanging gift boxes of our favorite treats. We’re not saying you should ditch the gingerbread man for a carrot stick, but we do encourage you to be mindful of your teeth this holiday season. Take a break from the sugar and fill your mouth with items that will protect your teeth. Don’t forget to floss and brush well after holiday parties and schedule a dental appointment for the whole family. Contact Anderson and Atkins Dentistry today so that you can go confidently into the new year cavity-free!

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