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Posted on: September 15, 2021
Preventing Tooth Decay
Dentists and other dental professionals don’t have a lot of cavities in their mouths. They may have developed some as children, but as adults, they learned how easy it is to prevent developing any more. You can use the same methods to have a nice, healthy smile.
The main thing you need to do is be vigilant about your dental hygiene. Good dental hygiene only takes a few minutes a day if you have the right tools. The reason we get cavities is decay. Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in our mouths get a hold of sugar and covert it into an acid that can erode tooth enamel. Once a cavity starts, it can grow and affect all three layers of the tooth. Catching a cavity early, or preventing one from starting, isn’t difficult.
How to Prevent Cavities
Almost all cavities are preventable.
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
This is really important. While plaque develops on your teeth all day long, you can’t let it sit too long. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal or snack. but twice a day, for two minutes at a time, is the bare minimum. Always use a fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance on the package. You should also use a soft toothbrush, so it can reach into cervices easily.
2. Floss Every Day
It does not matter if you floss in the morning or evening, but do it before you brush. You don’t want the plaque and food particles you dislodge to remain in your mouth. People who don’t floss, and there are many of them, frequently get cavities between their teeth.
3. See Your Dentist for a Checkup Every Six Months
Routine dental exams every six months are a preventative measure. They can help you avoid cavities with education about proper oral hygiene and tips to help you remove plaque from areas you may be missing. You can also avoid cavities with proactive professional teeth cleanings. Even if you do have a cavity, it’s better to let your dentist treat it with a filling, while it is still small, rather than wait and end up needing a crown or root canal to save your tooth.
4. Ask About Fluoride Treatments
Professional fluoride treatments are perfectly safe for adults. The concentrated fluoride can reduce a person’s risk of developing cavities. It only takes a few minutes for a dental professional to apply the varnish or foam. In about 30 minutes, it is fully absorbed.
5. Consume a Healthy Diet
There are foods that help your teeth and foods that harm your teeth. As you may have been told by your dentist already, foods high in sugar are bad for your teeth and can lead to decay. However, there are fortifying foods that you can eat that will help your teeth. Foods with lots of calcium, like dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables are also good for your teeth. Be sure to eat a balanced diet and avoid sugary gum!
Treatments for Cavities
Your dentist will suggest the best way to treat your cavity based on various factors. Treatments will include:
A cavity is a hole in your tooth. The bacteria can spread unless it is removed and the hole is sealed. Otherwise, the bacteria will spread and damage more layers of the tooth until a dentist can’t save the tooth. Fillings restore the tooth’s integrity too, so you can chew normally. The material your dentist uses to fill the cavity depends on aesthetic preferences, where the cavity is located and how much damage the decay did. Typically, dentists use metal or composite resin (white) filling materials, but you may have other choices.
Caps, more commonly called crowns, cap a damaged tooth. Teeth with large fillings are weaker than teeth with small fillings. After a while, the tooth can crack or break. A crown restores to tooth to its full strength. Crowns are tailored to match your other teeth and can be made from a variety of materials. Porcelain is extremely popular as it is translucent. just like natural teeth. Crowns for back teeth need to be strong; they are often made from porcelain over a metal base.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canals have a bad reputation, but they can save teeth. It’s always preferable to save a tooth than to have it extracted. Root canal therapy is virtually painless and necessary if tooth decay has reached the pulp of your tooth. Your dentist will extract the pulp and fill the space with a filling material. You must have a crown over the tooth since it will have such a large filling.
New Technologies for Preventing Cavities
One day, fillings may be obsolete. There is much ongoing research into regenerating tooth enamel and dentin that does not involve drilling or replacing tooth structure with synthetic materials. There are treatments currently in clinical trials that will use stem cells to repair teeth naturally. Additionally, there are new developments into fluorescent light tools that can detect cavities before they form. This would allow your dentist to help you create a treatment plan for a small problem, not a big, painful and expensive one such as a root canal. Perhaps more exciting, a new filling could be used to spread fluoride to the adjacent teeth to prevent them from decaying as well. With all these new advancements in technology, preventing and treating cavities is becoming more accessible and easier.
Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet, so cavity prevention is still your best option. Practice good oral hygiene, watch what you eat and drink and find an affordable dentist in Sweetwater that can help you maintain a cavity-free mouth. If you do, you can also help prevent other dental issues, like gum disease, and maintain a healthy smile for many years.