How Long Does It Take For A Cavity To Form?

All the sweet gifts over the holidays can make one wonder: Just how long does it take for a cavity to form?  Like so many questions the answer is: It depends.  The good news is that if you had a fresh start on December 1st then a cavity didn’t occur over the past couple of weeks of sweet indulgence.  The reason the dentist sees you every 6 months is because it does take awhile before a cavity gets to the point of needing attention.

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How Are Cavities Formed?

In order to understand how long it might take for a cavity to form in your mouth it’s a good idea to understand the process itself.  A hard mineral called enamel protects our teeth.  Problems arise when enamel starts to break down due to contact with acid.  The acid in your mouth is a result of bacteria and bacteria builds up when it gets fed a lot; and bacteria eat what we eat.  It just so happens its favorites is sugars and starches  (our favorites too).   When bacteria starts to build up it forms plaque and that is where the problem really lies.  Plaque holds the acid and it sits comfortably on teeth causing decay.

What To Do To Prevent Cavities

You already know what to do, but until it’s a habit you need to keep reminding yourself: Brush and floss daily and drink plenty of water.  Avoid sugar and starch to the best of your ability (good to do anyway), and don’t skip your twice-yearly dental visits.  Need to set an appointment?  Give us a call at 253.473.4303 or fill out our contact form.  We’ll get you in right away!