Ask Dr. Childers: what are cavities and how do we get them?

Dr. Kyle Childers knows that one word no patient of ours wants to hear when they visit their dentist or Childers Orthodontics is “cavity.” Oh, we know about those dreaded cavities! But what exactly is a cavity and how do people get one? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by your dentist, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities during your treatment with Dr. Childers:

• Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily
• Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (use soft bristles)
• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach
• Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink
• Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning/check-up

We hope this helps! Give us a call for more info about your oral health or your treatment with Dr. Childers!

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