Enamel can repair itself with saliva and fluoride from toothpaste and some sources of drinking water. However, over time minerals can be lost and decay can progress. This is how cavities start to form.
Sugars & Bacteria
Foods and drinks that contain sugar and starch are used by the bacteria in our mouths to produce acids. The acids eat away at our enamel, the tooth’s hard, outer layer. Minerals from our saliva try to help repair the enamel but over time, the attack from the acids is too much for the tooth.
Weak Spots in Enamel
You may notice white spots on your teeth. This is where minerals have been lost, and is an early sign of decay. Eating and drinking lots of foods that contain sugars and starches will create repeated cycles of acid attacks, and overtime you will develop weak spots in your enamel.
Tooth decay can be stopped in its early form. Even enamel can repair itself with the fluoride from toothpaste and the minerals in your saliva. However, if tooth decay continues, more and more minerals will be lost over time, and when the enamel becomes broken or destroyed, a cavity forms. A cavity is a permanent damage to the tooth that must be repaired by a dentist to prevent more decay.
How Do I Prevent Cavities?
It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet, and to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings. You should also brush and floss your teeth every day to remove plaque and harmful bacteria from your teeth.
Call Growing Smiles today to schedule an appointment to keep your mouth and gums healthy and your teeth free of cavities!