Susceptibility to Cavities

Some individuals are more susceptible to getting cavities. Factors that contribute to cavity formation are the quality of saliva, the formation of the teeth, the quality of the bacteria, oral habits, how frequently food is in the mouth, types of snacks and oral hygiene (brushing and flossing).

Breast and or bottle feeding alone do not cause cavities. However, the use of food whether solid or liquid to control behaviour can cause cavities in a child who is "at risk" for cavities. The more frequent food is in the mouth, the more likely cavities will form. The bacteria use the food that enters our mouth as a source of energy. As a by-product, they also produce an acid. It is this acid that makes our teeth appear soft, like they are dissolving away.

Cavities begin as white lines on the surface of the tooth. These white lines already represent a loss of minerals from the tooth surface. If limited to the enamel surface, this lesion can be remineralized. Remineralization is when the naturally forming minerals found in saliva move back into the tooth surface. To help this remineralization process we need to clean and remove the plaque – brush and floss! The use of topical fluoride and or MI paste can also help this process.