Yes, Adults Still Get Cavities

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Most dentists have some variation of the "No Cavities Club" on their office wall. The wide smiles of little children with a clean bill of dental health are proudly displayed to everyone waiting for their appointment. Their parents are doing a great job of making sure they brush and floss every day, and the effort is paying off. That might lead some to the (mistaken) conclusion that cavities are for kids.

Not so fast! While the softer teeth of young children are more susceptible to cavities, a 2009 Health Canada study revealed that 96% of Canadian adults have at least one coronal cavity. NINETY-SIX PERCENT! And that’s just the cavities that appear in places other than the roots of the teeth. Another 20% of Canadian adults have root cavities, which are even harder to see and treat. Health and dental insurance plans will generally cover most of the cost of regular trips to the dentist, so why are there still so many adults walking around with tooth decay? More importantly, what can be done about it?

Make Your Dental Health a Priority

Many adults could use a refresher in good dental hygiene. Some steps to prevent tooth decay to avoid the pain and misery of treating a cavity gone awry include:

  1. Good Home Care: Frequent brushing can reduce damage to tooth enamel and flossing removes harmful plaque between teeth. Between brushing, crunchy foods like apples and celery can help remove food debris, which keeps your teeth cleaner AND makes sure you don’t have lettuce between your teeth in that afternoon meeting.
  2. Fluoride: Topical fluoride treatments can help fill in pores of tooth enamel or small early cavities. Talk to your dentist about topical fluoride gels to use between appointments to help protect your teeth.
  3. Good Nutrition: Aside from the standard “eat less sugar” advice, making sure your diet has enough calcium, phosphorous and vitamins A, C, and D can support stronger tooth enamel, which in turn can help prevent cavities.
  4. See Your Dentist: Regular trips to the dentist for routine cleaning and exams can save you a world of hurt further down the road. With that said your dentist is not a magician! They cannot undo months of neglect in a single visit or turn back the sands of time. Help your dentist help you by taking care of your teeth between visits.

Proper dental care can stave off a host of health issues, including heart disease and stroke. Taking care of your teeth is part of taking care of your general wellbeing. Even if you didn’t make good dental health a New Year’s resolution, it’s not too late! Check your health and dental insurance plan coverage details and schedule an appointment with your dentist today!


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