Cavities and how to avoid them…
More than 4 in 10 children under the age of 12 have cavities ( National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research) and over half of them go untreated which leads to permanent damage to the children’s teeth. The sad thing is cavities are largely preventable.
So, what is a dental cavity? A cavity is a hole in a tooth which occurs over a period time. If your teeth are exposed to acid frequently – e.g. from sugary foods or drinks – the tooth enamel loses minerals and, before you know it, a hole appears. An early sign of lost minerals is a white spot on a tooth. If left untreated, more and more enamel is lost and this leads to permanent damage.
But, there’s good news… the enamel can repair itself! Your teeth can use minerals from saliva, and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources, to initiate repair. This is why detection at an early stage can prevent permanent decay. Cavities can be stopped in their tracks or reversed if seen early enough.
So, if you want to keep your teeth as free from cavities as possible follow these simple rules:
- Avoid sweets and sugary drinks!
- Do NOT eat or drink anything after you have brushed your teeth at night.
- Brush (and floss) your teeth morning and evening.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for check-ups.
- Talk to your dentist about sealants to create added protection from acid attacks.
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And, if you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, pop into the clinic and see the dentist.