Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health problems, and they can affect smiles of all ages. In fact, most children will have had at least one cavity by the time they reach the age of 12. But the thing is, cavities are completely preventable. Keep reading to learn more about tooth decay including how to prevent it from your weekend dentist in Irving.
What Is a Cavity?
A cavity is a hole or lesion in the tooth caused by demineralization of tooth enamel due to plaque buildup. Plaque is the clear, sticky substance that builds up on your teeth throughout the day — and when it is allowed to collect, the acids it contains will gradually weaken the enamel and a lesion or cavity will form. When not treated promptly, a cavity can cause a toothache and may eventually result in abscess and loss of the tooth.
Can I Tell If I Have a Cavity?
You probably won’t notice a cavity in the very beginning stages. This is why routine visits to the dentist are crucial for your dental health — with X-rays and a trained eye, your dental team can detect weak spots in the tooth enamel to possibly prevent a cavity from forming altogether.
Once a cavity has formed, however, there are some symptoms you may notice. These warning signs of a cavity include:
- A visible white or dark spot on the tooth
- A toothache
- Sensitivity to heat, cold, or pressure
- Swelling around the area
Do not hesitate to visit your dentist if you experience the symptoms of a cavity. Getting prompt treatment is important for preventing pain, abscess, and tooth loss.
How Can I Prevent Cavities?
Fortunately, it is pretty easy to protect your smile from tooth decay with proper dental hygiene and routine visits to your dentist. People of all ages can get cavities, but children are especially at-risk when their baby teeth are falling out and being replaced by permanent ones. For them, prevention is especially important.
Some important tips for cavity prevention are:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day.
- Set a timer to make sure you brush for the full amount of time.
- Floss between teeth daily.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste to keep the tooth enamel strong.
- Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash for additional cleansing.
- Visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning!
Cavities are common — but they can be avoided. If it’s been awhile since your last visit to the dentist in Irving, it’s not too late to recommit to your dental health! Make some time to book a visit for a checkup and cleaning this month.
Meet the Practice
The team at OnCall Dental offers comprehensive dentistry right when patients need it. WIth flexible office hours, including Sundays, you can visit them anytime for treatment for a cavity, toothache, or anything else that may affect your smile. Feel free to walk-in anytime or contact them by phone at (972) 954-6271.