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Do you have a cavity? If you answered no, don’t be so sure. Most people in the U.S. are at the risk of having cavities, and more than one in five people have untreated cavities. The fact is that cavities are preventable, and it’s not as hard as you might think.

Cavities are formed when bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and carbohydrates left over from soda and sweet foods. When the bacteria get together with the sugar, acids are formed, which attack the enamel in your teeth. The plaque in your mouth helps the acids stick to the tooth, and over time, cavities can form. Kids are more prone to cavities than adults, but that doesn’t mean that adults are immune to them. As we get older, cavities become a bigger problem as gums recede. Older adults may also face decay around the edges of fillings.

There are things you can do to prevent tooth decay. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and daily flossing are a big part of the battle against tooth decay. Also, watching your sugar intake, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and keeping between-meal snacking to a minimum will help as well.

Making time to visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings is one of the best ways to get a jump on cavities. We can also perform fluoride treatments, and apply dental sealants to your back teeth to protect them. If you have concerns, or have a cavity that needs attention, visit with Dr. Amanda Lewis or Dr. Greg Haarman at Central Illinois Smiles in Decatur, Illinois for an examination. Call 217.877.1742 today to schedule a sealant or fluoride treatment.