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Your healthy smile can be affected by cavities even with the best of care. But there are risk factors that can increase the chances of cavities. Today, we are going to be examining those risk factors, giving you an idea of what you can do to help mindfully mitigate these factors.

Where is the tooth at?

The teeth most affected by cavities are your molars (and in your children, the premolars). This is because they are located at the back of the mouth, and their chewing surfaces have pits and grooves where oral debris can hide. This makes them difficult to clean when you brush, because they are hard to reach. It is also more difficult to floss between the molars, increasing the risk of plaque formation.

Is your food cavity-promoting?

Did you know that the type of food you eat can increase the chances of cavities? Sugary, starchy foods tend to cling to your teeth which promote tooth decay. Foods that can be washed away by your saliva, such as celery, apples, etc. are actually better for your teeth. Foods and drinks you want to watch out for include milk, honey, soda, dried fruit, chips, among others.

Are you bathing your teeth in acid?

If you frequently snack on foods throughout the day, and not brushing your teeth afterwards, the bacteria in the mouth feed on this food all day, producing acids that wear down tooth enamel.  To put it in perspective, if you are a soda drinker, and drink it all day, your teeth are in a constant acid bath.

Other risk factors for dental caries include dry mouth, a condition where you do not produce enough saliva to help protect the teeth, not brushing enough or soon after eating, and worn out dental fillings or ill-fitting devices which allow plaque to build up and hide under.

Your best line of defense is to brush and floss every day to keep plaque away, and see your dentist for periodic cleanings to remove hardened plaque and check old fillings. Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and limit snacking.

If it is time for your next dental cleaning with Dr. Michael D. Doty, please call our dental team in Abingdon, VA at 276-628-6251 today!