Your dentist has probably already given you a lot of advice about how to protect your smile, but do you ever wonder what are the leading causes of cavities? In other words, what are the habits that would almost assuredly cause you to struggle with dental decay? Sometimes knowing what to avoid, when it comes to dental health, is just as helpful as knowing what you should be doing to protect your smile.

Skip Brushing and Flossing As Often As Possible

If you really want to get a cavity, make sure you are not brushing or flossing on a daily basis.

These simple steps are great ways to help remove plaque buildup, which is responsible for acidic erosion, especially when combined. Brushing alone leaves portions of the teeth unclean, namely those crevices where toothbrush bristles cannot reach. This is why dentists strongly urge patients to floss on a daily basis, as well. That is, if they want to avoid developing cavities.

Eat and Drink a Lot of Sugar

Another great way to get a cavity is to eat a great deal of sugar. Sugar is what the bacteria in the mouth feed upon, so the more you consume on a regular basis, the more likely you are to deal with damaging enamel erosion.

If, on the other hand, you are someone who wants to avoid dental problems like cavities and the fillings they generally require, it’s best to eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet, specifically one low in sugar.

Drinking sugar is particularly problematic, since drinks tend to spend even more time on the food’s surface than food. So be mindful of what you’re drinking each day, and opt for water more often than sodas, juices, sweetened teas and other drinks.

Don’t See the Dentist Until You Already Have a Problem

Finally, if you really want to struggle with dental issues, like cavities, don’t see the dentist until you already have a problem.

While restorative treatment can often address cavities quickly, and with minimally invasive procedures, most patients prefer to avoid problems, in the first place. Avoiding problems is best done by combining healthy habits at home, like daily hygiene and a healthy diet, with regular dental checkups and cleanings! These should occur at least twice a year, but more frequently for patients susceptible to cavities.