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Understanding Dental Caries and How to Prevent It

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Dental caries is damage on the surface of your tooth, leading to the formation of holes. The holes expose the inner parts of the tooth and lead to bacterial infections. Most people know proper dental hygiene is the most effective way to prevent caries. However, you can follow the advice and still get caries. Here is information to help you understand why caries develops and ways to stop the damage.

Why You Have Caries

The structure of the tooth comes from minerals. Foods with high sugar and starch content lead to the formation of bacteria in the mouth. The acid eventually breaks down the enamel. If your mouth is too acidic, and the enamel is broken down, the other mineral components will also erode. Your mouth should return to a normal pH soon after a meal. However, people who snack a lot do not give the mouth the time for the acidity levels to neutralize. Therefore, eating habits could be the reason you have caries. Instead of sipping your soda continuously for two hours, consider drinking it all in ten minutes. The remineralization process starts sooner when you finish your food or beverage within a short time.

Ways to Help Teeth Get Back Their Minerals

Saliva is your best friend in keeping caries away. It is a natural buffer against harmful particles entering the mouth. It cleanses the mouth and flushes bacteria into the gut, stopping them from raising mouth acidity. Saliva contains minute mineral particles that aid in re-mineralizing the mouth. You should also have fluoride toothpaste or tap water. The mineral refills the eroded teeth and prevents deterioration that could lead to cavity formation. Remember that a calcium-rich diet also helps strengthen them.

The Ideal Brushing Time

Most dental health experts recommend brushing twice a day. However, few people understand the ideal time of day to do it. Plaque bacteria multiply more when you are sleeping than when awake. You can remove them by brushing your teeth as the first activity in the morning. Brushing your teeth before the first meal minimizes the damage your mouth will suffer at the breakfast table. Brushing at night also removes all bacteria from the day. It protects you from night-long bacteria action and caries.

You can prevent the formation of caries when you understand the process. Most importantly, have regular dental check-ups with an expert. The dentist cleans your teeth and uses X-rays to determine your dental health status. They can help you achieve a cavity-free mouth. 

Contact a dentist to learn more about dental caries