If plaque is present on the teeth, cavities (caries) can form. Factors such as dietary habits and the use of (soft) drinks play a role in the formation of cavities, where it is not only about what is eaten, but especially how often this happens in a day.
The first onset of dental caries is generally painless. In the enamel, it takes a long time for caries to spread, because enamel is a hard and dense material. Every time you eat or drink something, bacteria in the plaque convert the sugars and carbohydrates in the food into acid. This creates an acid blast that can attack the enamel, causing cavities. If the caries process continues, the deeper layer of dentine becomes affected. Dentine is much softer than enamel, which means caries can spread there much faster.
Not every groove or small pit in a tooth is a cavity. The same goes for dark discoloration or whitish spots on the teeth. However, they can be signs of early or advanced caries.
Pain symptoms only develop during advanced dental caries. By regularly going to the dentist and dental hygienist for a check-up, the cavities can be discovered at an early stage and pain complaints can be prevented.
Good oral care helps prevent cavities. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste with additional tools, such as toothpicks, dental floss or interdental brushes. In this way, emerging cavities can recover. To prevent caries, you can also limit the number of eating and drinking moments to seven times a day. Three main meals plus a snack four times a day. That way, the saliva in the mouth can help protect the teeth.