According to the CDC, dental caries are the most widespread communicable disease in the US. Just as you can prevent common colds from spreading by properly washing your hands and keeping your living space(such as counter tops, door handles, light switches, and other surface areas) clean, you can also prevent cavities by proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.
Cavities are caused by bacteria living in your mouth. This bacteria can change or become more concentrated if you share cups, utensils, or through kissing. If your family members have several cavities, you are more likely to develop cavities.
Good oral hygiene can become a family tradition that will serve your family for years. Children can become familiar and comfortable with visiting the dentist at an early age by coming to their parent’s appointments and having appointments themselves. Establishing a friendly relationship with your dentist will encourage children to look forward to visiting the dentist, and help them to want a clean bill of oral health when he looks at their teeth.
Likewise, brushing and flossing each morning and night removes the food and particles around the gums and between the teeth. The sticky film called plaque, along with bacteria, forms an acid that will break down your tooth enamel. This allows the bacteria to infect your teeth, producing cavities. If plaque remains from day to day, it hardens into tartar, which has to be removed by your dentist.
Cavities can be prevented. Brush and floss twice each day, and go see the dentist every six months, and your smile can remain healthy.