March 1, 2023

What’s the worst thing that can happen to your teeth? Tooth loss doesn't occur instantaneously unless it’s an injury or facial trauma. It’s a process that typically starts with dental caries. When you have dental caries or cavities, you must seek Hopedale dental care in IL as soon as possible if you don’t want to lose your teeth. The good news is you can prevent tooth decay from wreaking havoc in your mouth. How can you prevent cavities?

woman with tooth pain needs Hopedale dental care in IL

What Are Cavities?

Cavities, dental caries, or tooth decay are permanent holes that form on your teeth caused by bacteria. They release strong acids that destroy the outermost layer of your teeth, called enamel.  

Without treatment, it can penetrate the next layer beneath it, called the dentin. Over time, the damage will spread until it reaches the inner chamber of your tooth that houses the dental pulp. Your dentist will be compelled to extract the tooth when the damage is beyond repair.  

Where Do Cavities Form?  

Tooth decay commonly forms between your teeth, the grooves, and pits in your back teeth, around dental fillings, or your bridgework near the gum line.  

How Do Cavities Develop?

Your mouth is naturally teeming with bacteria. But when bacteria interact with starchy and sugary foods, they are triggered to produce acids that slowly erode and dissolve your teeth leading to decay.

How Can You Prevent Cavities?


  1. Brush your teeth twice daily: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste is one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. It helps to remove plaque, a sticky biofilm containing bacteria that accumulates on your teeth and prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria.  
  1. Floss daily: Flossing is a vital part of your oral care routine. It helps remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris between your teeth, which brushing can't reach. Make sure to floss gently, using a piece of dental floss about 18 inches long, and to clean between all of your teeth, including the back ones.
  1. Use mouthwash: Mouthwash can help kill harmful bacteria in your mouth. Look for a fluoride-based mouthwash, which can help keep your teeth strong.
  1. Limit sugary foods and drinks: Consuming sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay by promoting the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth. To limit the sugar you consume, avoid sweet snacks, drinks, and desserts, and choose healthier options like fruits and vegetables.
  1. Drink plenty of water: Drinking plenty of water can help to rinse away plaque and food particles and promote increased saliva production, which can help to neutralize harmful acids in your mouth. Ensure drinking water throughout the day, especially after meals and snacks.
  1. Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups are integral for preventing tooth decay. During a dental checkup, your dentist will check your mouth for signs of problems and offer tips and advice on keeping your mouth healthy. Your dentist will also clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar.  
female patient in pain about to receive Hopedale dental care in IL

Do You Require Hopedale Dental Care in IL?

Tooth decay can be prevented with proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. At Smalltown Dental, we aim to make you feel relaxed while you receive treatment. Our doctors have years of training and experience to provide you with the best care. Contact us to get a customized treatment plan!  

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