Understanding Cavities

One word nobody wants to hear when they visit the dentist is Cavity! That’s right, the dreaded cavity; but what exactly is a cavity and how do they happen? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by your dentist, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities:

• Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily.

• Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (when choosing a toothbrush it is
recommended to use soft bristles).

• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between +
the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.

• Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink.

• Be sure to visit your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and check-up.

The Importance of Regular Checkups

Do you brush your teeth two to three times a day? If you do that’s great!!! Don’t forget that it’s also important to also visit the dentist every six months in addition to brushing your teeth a couple times daily. Regular dental checkups are important for maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can:

• Check for problems you might not see of feel
• Detect cavities and early signs of decay
• Treat oral health problems early

During an oral exam the doctor will check the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. Your checkup will also include a thorough teeth cleaning and polishing. If you have not been to the dentist in the last six months, it’s time for you to schedule an appointment. Call us at 425-451-7388 or feel free to email us at: info@thebellevuedentist.com.