There are many reasons why you should not wait to fill a cavity. The most important reason to fill a cavity is to maintain a beautiful and confident smile. When you take care of your teeth, then you are confident to showcase your smile. Even better, the more you smile, the better you feel. As a matter of fact, showcasing a confident smile improves your mood and overall health and well-being. In summation, take care of that smile by brushing your teeth twice daily, maintaining a low-in-sugar diet, and regular visits to a dental professional.
How Long Can I Wait To Fill A Cavity?
Cavities don’t just form overnight; in reality, it can take a few months or even a year before the tooth decay advances to a point where the cavity will need attention. Therefore it’s essential to schedule a dental and oral examination every six months. For example, we determine your risk of tooth enamel erosion during the assessment. It’s necessary to protect the tooth enamel because it protects your teeth from everyday use, such as chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding. However, this enamel can chip, crack, and erode from acids that eat away at the teeth. For example, if you drink too many soft drinks, the high phosphoric and citric acid levels can erode your enamel.
Early Cavity Detection is Important
Being proactive is key to maintaining your dental health. Specifically, early-stage tooth decay is treatable when detected early enough, which is why it’s so crucial to visit your dentist every six months for an exam.
Every Cavity Is Different
Adults have 32 teeth, which means a cavity on your molar might develop differently than a cavity on your incisor. Since you have various teeth in your mouth, the time it takes for a cavity to develop varies. Some people have softer tooth enamel than others, making it easier for bacteria or acid to penetrate the tooth. On average, as a broad timeline, it can take anywhere from six months to four or five years before a cavity needs treatment. The conditions of your mouth change daily. Conclusion: a cavity can start to form, then not have the right conditions to develop. However, that cavity won’t just disappear; your dentist will be able to catch that slow-forming cavity and correct the issue.
Various factors can significantly affect the time it takes for a cavity to develop. The most common factors that can increase or lower the rate at which cavity forms include:
- Cavities will start to develop when acid levels in the mouth increase.
- You allow plaque to form and stick, allowing the acid in the plaque to remove minerals from your tooth.
- Multiple small acid attacks. Your teeth are robust, but with numerous small acid attacks, eventually, a cavity will form.
- The location of where the cavity is forming is also essential to understand. Enamel is tough and comprised of minerals, which means it will take longer for a cavity to develop in enamel than in a tooth’s dentin.
- The density of the tooth enamel is also vital. Cavities can form quicker near the gumline because tooth enamel is thinner.
- Enamel with lots of minerals will take longer to get a cavity than enamel with fewer minerals. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can naturally strengthen your enamel.
Cavity Prevention Tips
You can protect your teeth from tooth decay by following these simple guidelines:
- Pick the right toothbrush and gently brush your teeth twice a day. Brush for a full two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
- Make sure to floss once a day.
- Include a fluoride mouthwash into your oral care routine.
- Do your best to avoid sugary and starchy foods, and avoid frequent snacking.
- Regular teeth cleanings and exams every six months are necessary to eliminate cavity-causing plaque and tartar. During these exams, your dentist will be able to identify any early signs of tooth decay and give you the tools and knowledge to combat cavities.
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