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Around this time of year, many people have a list, be it big or small, of the things they want to do for the holidays. But “get 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 happen, and what you can do to stop them.

The hard outer layer of your tooth is called enamel. It protects an inner pulp, which contains the nerve endings and softer tissues of your tooth. Cavities form when portions of the tooth enamel erode.

Tooth enamel erodes because of acids getting on the tooth. Sometimes the acid comes from acidic drinks and foods. However, the offending acids can also be a byproduct of the bacteria living in in your mouth. These bacteria come together in a sticky film called plaque. They feed on sugars, then produce acid. This is why Dr. Mike Choe advises you to limit sugary foods! It isn’t the sugar itself that destroys your teeth, but the acids produced by the bacteria.

Unfortunately for your sweet tooth, you should still limit your sugars. In fact, you should limit your acidic foods, as well! This will help prevent cavities from forming.

The best way to prevent a cavity is to brush your teeth, twice a day, for two minutes each time. This removes the plaque and food particles from your mouth. Flossing every day is also incredibly important, as it removes plaque and debris from places your brush cannot reach.

For more information, call Westlake Family Dentistry in Fayetteville, North Carolina, at 910-864-2944.  Dr. Mike Choe and our team are happy to help you keep your smile happy this season!