Cavities are one of the most common forms of tooth problems. They are caused by tooth decay if teeth aren’t cleaned regularly. What happens is that particles of food get stuck in the crevices and spaces in and between teeth during eating. The pieces of food combine with dental plaque (a thin biofilm of bacteria) and the resulting mixture releases acids that harm tooth enamel. As the enamel erodes away, cavities are formed in the teeth. Pain starts when the cavity reaches and exposes a nerve to the surroundings. The tooth becomes very sensitive to hot and cold fluids, and small particles of food that come in contact with it.

Fortunately there are dentistry treatments that are available to cure the pain, but its better if you avoid the condition altogether.  The first tip is to brush regularly. Brushing removes most of the plaque and cleans out food debris from the crevices and spaces between the teeth. You should also choose a good brush from a good manufacturer. If you have sensitive teeth and gums, choose a soft bristle one. Medium bristles are for regular teeth and if you have metal and wood for dinner, and open beer bottles with your teeth, choose a hard bristle toothbrush.

As for the bristle arrangement and shape, choose the one that suits your teeth best.

The choice of toothpaste is also important. Most of the brands currently in the market are fluoride enhanced, so it isn’t much of a tip to keep that in mind. However, if you have sensitive teeth and gums that bleed easily, you will be better off with a medical toothpaste brand.

Flossing is also an important cleaning technique. Although a toothbrush reaches most of the places, the sections between adjacent teeth are best cleaned using floss. Flossing cleans out the 35 percent of the spaces that the toothbrush misses. So if you brush regularly but don’t floss, it’s like taking a shower but only washing two-thirds of your body… technically you cannot be called clean.

Diet and nutrition are also important to maintain healthy teeth and prevent cavities. Bacteria are particularly fond of foods that have a high sugar or carbohydrate content. The reason is that sugars and carbohydrates are easier to consume for bacteria. Also foods that stick to the tooth surface provide bacteria with a long lasting source of energy. Sticky foods aren’t easily removed by chewing, swallowing or rinsing your mouth with water. And if you eat a sugary sticky substance like toffee… the bacteria have it a jackpot.

Always brush within 20 minutes of eating sugary and sticky foods to keep your teeth safe.

And of course, you should visit your dentist regularly. Many of the tooth problems only trigger pain after significant damage has been done. Your dentist will solve problems when they are only in the early stages, so make it a point to see your dentist a few times a year.