Cavities are extremely common, but many people may not even know they have them. That’s because when they first form, they don’t present any obvious symptoms. In fact, a cavity might not cause you any pain until the decay has spread into the dentin, the second layer of your teeth. Fortunately, though, your dentist in Newtown can spot these little holes before they become big problems.
How Your Dentist Detects Cavities
Cavities are tiny holes that a trained eye can spot thanks to help from dental mirrors and diagnostic tools, like X-rays (cavities show up as dark spots). To check the crevices of your teeth, your dentist may use a probe or other device for feel for any holes that shouldn’t be there.
Your dentist will also ask you questions about your recent experience to find out if you have any symptoms of decay. For example, if a particular tooth has been sensitive, it’s possible that it has a cavity or other problem that your dentist needs to look for.
Once a cavity gets diagnosed, it’s usually fairly easy to fix with a simple tooth-colored filling. However, if the decay is more serious, you may need an inlay, onlay, or crown to protect the tooth and prevent further damage.
Stopping Cavities Before They Start
Sometimes, you may develop a cavity regardless of how diligent you are about taking care of your teeth. However, most decay can be stopped before it starts if you stick to a good routine that includes:
- Brushing twice a day. Use gentle, short strokes, and spend about 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. Be sure to choose a toothpaste with fluoride in it since this mineral can fortify tooth enamel.
- Flossing daily. Bacteria and food particles can easily get stuck between your teeth, and brushing alone isn’t enough to dislodge that plaque-causing substances. Taking a bit of time to floss each day is the best way to prevent cavities in those tight spaces between your chompers.
- Watching your sugar intake. Everyone loves to have a yummy dessert once in a while, but overindulging in sugar lets bacteria run rampant in your mouth, leading to plaque and cavities. Soda and candy are among the worst cavity-causing treats, but even some foods that have healthy components, like yogurt, may contain high amounts of the sweet stuff.
- Visiting your dentist regularly. Your dentist in Newtown doesn’t want to just be the cavity police, there to tell you when decay has already occurred. Regular professional cleanings can remove cavity-causing tartar (a regular toothbrush can’t do that), and the hygienist who cleans your teeth will be happy to share tips with you on how you can improve your oral hygiene routine at home in order to prevent cavities. We always recommend that patients have a cleaning and exam every six months or so.
Your dentist in Newtown can detect and treat decay, but they would rather discover that your mouth is free from any problems. Please stick to a good routine so you can protect your teeth from cavities.
We have a talented team at Dentists of Newtown, all of whom are passionate about protecting our patients’ smiles. If you think you have a cavity, or it’s time for your next cleaning, please contact one of our offices.