What is a Cavity?

A cavity, also known as dental caries, is a permanently damaged areas in a tooth that develop into tiny holes. They are caused by bacteria, snacking, sipping sugary drinks, and poor teeth cleaning. There may be no symptoms. Untreated cavities can cause a toothache, infection, and tooth loss. Treatments include fluoride, fillings, and crowns. Severe cases may need a root canal or removal of the tooth if it’s too large to save.

Decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:

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Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

Flossing daily

Eating a balanced diet

Visiting our office regularly 

Accepting topical fluoride treatments when prescribed


Sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.

Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.

The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well. Ask your dentist about whether sealants can put extra power behind your prevention program.


Fluoride is a mineral that helps fight tooth decay. It is found in public water supplies, toothpaste, and many other dental products.

Often called, “nature’s cavity fighter,” fluoride helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay can be seen. Research shows that fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause cavities. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, you are preventing cavities and strengthening your teeth’s enamel.

If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist will apply fluoride varnish or fluoride gel during your dental visit. Your dentist might also tell you to use a special fluoride rinse, paste or gel at home.

The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults use fluoride toothpaste displaying the ADA Seal of Acceptance. For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing their children’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in the mouth. Use a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. You should be brushing your children’s teeth thoroughly twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist or physician. For children 3 to 6 years of age, caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush teeth thoroughly twice per day. Always supervise your child’s brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste and try and get your child to spit out most of the toothpaste. 


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