Learning all you can about prevention, development and treatments can help you to know the best ways to prevent them and what to do if you do get them. The more effort you put into taking care of your teeth, the better shape you can expect them to stay in. Read the information offered to you here, so you can get a head start on cavity prevention and proper dental care.

The development of a cavity

When plaque builds up on the surface of your tooth it will cause a breakdown in the enamel of that tooth. The enamel is the hard protective layer that is also the outermost layer. When enough of a breakdown occurs, it causes a hole in the tooth. As time goes on without the cavity being treated, the hole will become larger and larger.

Plaque build-up

Plaque build-up occurs when food, drink and regular bacteria are not promptly and properly removed from your teeth. Regular brushing is the best way to make sure plaque build-up doesn't occur, but some areas are hard to reach with a toothbrush. This is where dental floss can help. Flossing after meals and before bed allows you to remove plaque from the tight spaces between your teeth that the toothbrush bristles miss. Also, using mouthwash helps to kill bacteria to further decrease your chance of developing a cavity.

Treatments for cavities

If you do develop a cavity, getting it treated quickly is very important. If you have a cavity treated while it is still small then a simple filling should be enough. A filling is done when the dentist fills the space left by the cavity with a material that will stay in place permanently to prevent further damage.

If you allow a cavity to get large, then it may take a crown to take care of it. The dentist will need to do some grinding on the tooth to make it the right size and shape needed for a crown. Then, a crown will be made to fit correctly and to look naturally. It will be put permanently in place with a strong bonding agent.

Root canals are used to take care of a cavity that is so deep it affects the health of the pulp in the root. The dentist will remove the pulp and then add a filling or crown.

Tooth extraction

If your tooth is so badly damaged that another treatment option won't work, then the dentist may need to extract it and this means it will be completely removed. Then, you will have to choose between going without that tooth, or having it replaced with an implant, bridge or partial denture.

Now that you have a better understanding of cavities, you will see why it is so important for you to do all that you can to avoid getting one.