Did you know that the most common chronic disease in children aged 6 to 11 and adolescents aged 12 to 19 is entirely preventable? And adults can get it too. 9 out of 10 adults over the age of 20 have it.
So what is it?
Well, it’s tooth decay.
And there is no better time to share some tooth-shattering facts and helpful tips than during the month when the kids are gobbling up as much candy as they can. And we are talking to the adults out there too. We know you are sneaking candy out of your kid’s stash while feigning innocence. Come on, Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without candy. And we don’t want to spoil your fun. Rather, we want to provide some cavity prevention options so that the joy of eating sweets doesn’t turn into a bigger problem down the road.
The Anatomy of a Tooth
First, let’s start with a bit of anatomy to understand better how a cavity forms. The outer portion of the tooth is made of enamel, which provides protection. Below this is the dentin, which is not as hard as enamel and is, therefore, more susceptible to cavities. The pulp is located below the dentin, which houses the nerves and blood supply that keeps the tooth alive.
The Mystery of a Cavity
Have you ever wondered why some people get cavities despite meticulous oral hygiene while others who rarely brush don’t?
Well, some people are prone to cavities.
The three leading causes of tooth decay are saliva issues (pH levels), frequent snacking, and poor oral hygiene. And let’s face it, you have bacteria in your mouth – we all do. The bacteria feed on the foods you eat. When eaten, sugary foods and drinks are transformed into acid by bacteria. The acid remains on the tooth, where it slowly wears down the enamel, resulting in a cavity. When the cavity isn’t fixed early on, it can travel from the enamel to the dentin and eventually to the pulp, where it can lead to an infection that can be life-threatening.
Cavity Prevention 101
The whole point of this article is to help you PREVENT cavities. And thankfully, we live in a time where we have multiple options for achieving this. First, brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Second, floss every day. Yes, we know it takes time, but trapped food can decompose between your teeth, and we are sure you don’t want to host a little party for your mouth bacteria. Third, fluoride treatments do help prevent cavities. And fourth, consider dental sealants to protect teeth from bacteria that can get trapped in the grooves of your teeth (molars).
Another great option to consider is a treatment Dr. Mike Longlet swears by and uses himself EVERY DAY: CariFree.
CariFree is a tooth decay prevention system that is clinically proven to work. And it doesn’t just help with cavity prevention. You see, brushing and flossing are just one of the three primary causes of tooth decay.
Good oral hygiene does not address the pH levels in your mouth. Remember we mentioned saliva issues as a cause of tooth decay? Well, without going too scientific on you, the pH levels inside the mouth can lead to cavities. Too low of a pH can lead to demineralization and, eventually, tooth decay. The root cause of cavities is a low pH. CariFree neutralizes the pH levels in your mouth and can rebuild tooth enamel (called remineralization).
So, now you know the anatomy of a tooth. You also know the three leading causes of tooth decay and how to prevent it. So, enjoy your Halloween splurge(s). Just be sure to follow your treat with one or all of the tricks provided in this article for cavity prevention. Your dentist and dental hygienist will thank you!