Have you had a cavity in your lifetime? It’s always a let down when your dentist tells you that you’ve got a cavity, especially if you have been making an effort to take good care of your teeth. You should know that you are not alone, because cavities afflict many Americans. In fact, in 2015, the Center for Disease Control found that 91% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have tooth decay!
Why Do So Many Americans Suffer From Tooth Decay?
While good oral hygiene goes a long way toward a healthy mouth, there’s more to decay and cavities than not properly brushing and flossing. There is a lot wrapped up in that staggering 91% of American adults! The outer protective layer of your teeth, called enamel, is often damaged by bacteria that hasn’t been properly brushed and flossed away, leading to decay and cavities; but there are also other contributing factors. Enamel can also become weakened and vulnerable to cavities due to other reasons, such as bruxism (teeth grinding), acidic foods and beverages, tobacco use, brushing too hard, dry mouth, and certain medications. Indeed, the condition of many Americans adults’ dental health is a multi-faceted issue. Factors such as access to a high-quality dental care, financial resources, diet, lifestyle, and individual motivation all influence the occurrence of tooth decay.
What Steps Can I Take to Avoid Cavities?
Given this statistic, chances are you have had a cavity and (we hope) have had it filled. The procedure is generally quick and painless, but that doesn’t mean you want another one! Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to keep your mouth healthy and free from cavities. Here are a few of the most important steps to preventing decay:
- Take great care of your teeth at home. You should be gently brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing every single day.
- Watch what you eat. Limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks, eat a nutritious diet, and drink plenty of fluoridated water.
- Consult with us! Visit us twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam. Talk to us about your concerns when it comes to tooth decay. If you’re struggling to prevent cavities, we can help you understand your risk level, explain what you may be doing wrong, and suggest further steps you can take to keep your mouth healthy and strong.
Here at Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry, we are oral health experts. Contact us to schedule your next appointment!Contact Us