Dentists have several ways they go about preventing cavities. These are tiny holes that form on teeth due to erosion caused by the acids made by oral bacteria. These germs feed on sugars left in the mouth from meals, excreting teeth-damaging acids as a waste product. Cavities start as a minor issue that typically does not cause pain, but it can lead to the total loss of a tooth when left untreated.
Preventing cavities with the help of a dentist
Wondering how a dentist can help you to prevent cavities? Let us take a look at some of the ways an oral professional can help to keep your teeth decay-free:
1. Educating patients
Preventing gum disease starts with educating patients about how tooth decay works and how oral hygiene helps to prevent it. The bacteria that lead to decay coat teeth with a biofilm called plaque that contains acids that damage teeth. Brushing at least two times daily and flossing once every day helps to remove plaque before it calcifies into tartar. Brushing and flossing are not enough to remove tartar. A dentist has to get rid of it using a metal tool called a scaler.
Dentists also educate patients about the importance of biannual dental visits. Showing up for these as recommended allows the dentist to detect any decay in its early stages while it might still be reversible or treatable with a small filling.
2. Preventative treatments
Dentists also use preventative procedures like fluoride treatments and dental sealants to keep their patients’ teeth decay-free. Fluoride is essential for healthy teeth enamel, and it re-mineralizes teeth that have been damaged by decay. Fluoride treatment can be used to protect teeth from decay for up to six months. It can also be used to reverse the early stages of tooth decay.
Dental sealants are another popular way dentists keep tooth decay at bay. These sealants are painted on teeth, and they serve as a barrier that prevents acids from making contact with teeth surfaces.
3. Treating existing issues
Cavities do not just develop and stop growing. These holes will continuously expand until they lead to the tooth breaking apart or infection. Treating a cavity at any stage in its development prevents it from growing, preventing it from causing further damage to the tooth. Treatment options a dentist might recommend for tooth decay include:
Composite bonding: This involves using a composite that has been color-matched with the patient’s teeth to fill up cavities
Fillings: This involves using a putty-like material to fill up the hole created by a cavity. Fillings have a dark color, so they can ruin the way the patient’s tooth looks after treatment
Crowns: These restorations are typically recommended for severe decay. It prevents the tooth from breaking apart and protects it from the forces generated when chewing
Prevention is better than cure
Good oral hygiene and biannual trips to the dentist significantly lower your risk of developing tooth decay. Call or visit our Greenacres clinic to learn more about treatments our dentist can use to keep your teeth decay-free.
Your general dentist is the right person to see when you need restorative work on your teeth. You can suffer tooth loss, which requires immediate attention. Other common problems that dentists treat include chipped, broken, or cracked teeth. These can all be both cosmetic and health concerns. Fortunately, your dentist has some options on how…
The foods and drinks we consume have a strong impact on our oral health. Read on to learn which foods and drinks increase your chances of getting a cavity. There are certain foods and drinks that increase the risk of cavities. It is important to understand how your diet can affect the health of your…
For patients who have been avoiding seeing a general dentist because of fear or apprehension, it may be helpful to know that they are not alone. A 2015 study published in Dental Research Journal found that 58.8% of dental patients surveyed experienced dental anxiety. For patients with severe dental phobia, there are several steps they…
When you find the right dentist, getting dental work done and having regular checkups will be a pleasant and relaxing experience. More importantly, these visits will give you a great chance to take charge of your dental health and ensure you have healthy teeth and gums for the rest of your life.Your dentist and their…