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Many of us have a list, be it long or short, of the things we want for the holidays. But “a cavity” is likely not on the list! In order to prevent getting a cavity, it is important to understand what they are, how they form, and what you can do to stop them from happening.

Cavities are holes that form through the erosion of the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of your tooth, and it protects an inner pulp (which contains the nerve endings and softer tissues of your tooth).

Tooth enamel erodes from acids present on the tooth. Sometimes this comes from sources such as acidic drinks and foods. More often, however, the acids are a byproduct of the bacteria living in in your mouth. These bacteria feed on sugars, then produce the acid. This is why your dentist advises you to limit your sugary foods! It isn’t the sugar itself that destroys your teeth, but the acids from the bacteria.

Unfortunately for your sweet tooth, the practical application of this knowledge is still that you should limit your sugars. In fact, it means you should additionally limit your acidic foods, as well!

Another way to prevent a cavity is to brush your teeth, twice a day, for 2 minutes each session. This removes the plaque (layers of bacteria) and food particles (food for bacteria) from your mouth. Flossing every day is also vital, as it removes plaque and debris from places your brush cannot reach.

For more information, call Smile Oxford Valley Dental Associates in Fairless Hill, Pennsylvania, at 215-949-2929. Dr. Andrew Kang & David Cho and our team are happy to help!