When people think about coming to the dentist, they often fall back on memories of having a cavity filled. This is one of the most common treatments performed in dental offices around the country. In fact, we estimate that 85% of teenagers have already experienced this treatment by the time they graduate from high school!
It’s amazing to us that our highly civilized society has not yet discovered a way to beat the spread of decay. It’s so simple to overcome with a few habit changes, and yet we are not willing to make those changes.
Today, we want to talk our unique approach to controlling cavities. We truly personalize your treatment plan to address the areas that put you at risk. We want to discuss some of those risk factors with you and explain how easy dental habits can end your time getting fillings!
Let’s get right to it!
How Do Cavities Form?
To really get to the bottom of cavity prevention, we have to first understand how those cavities form in the first place! A cavity is another word for tooth decay. It is a concentrated area of decay. Your mouth is full of bacteria, and when that bacteria finds a particle of food or a collection of sugar, it will have a feast. The byproduct is acid, which then eats through your tooth enamel causing decay.
At first, the decay is nothing more than a soft spot in your tooth. Fluoride can strengthen that soft spot and end the decay, but we don’t see that happen very often. Instead, we see the decay spreading throughout your tooth. A small cavity forms and grows, and if it is left alone completely, it will eventually lead to the death of your tooth.
Things that Place You at a Higher Risk
There are some things that make you more likely to develop cavities than your neighbor, friend, or spouse! Eating candy is only one aspect of cavity development, despite what you might have believed as a child!
The first factor we want to discuss is genetics. You came into this world with a set of teeth that are either very strong or not so strong due to the strength of your tooth enamel, your immune system, the strength of your saliva, and the crevices in your teeth.
These things are out of your control, but if you understand them, you can take steps to counteract poor genetics.
The things you consume will definitely have an impact. Having a sweet tooth (which is also linked to genetics, by the way) will cause you to experience more decay than others who enjoy a variety of foods.
Drinking many acidic and sweet beverages will lead to more decay, as will eating starchy and sugary snacks that like to stick to teeth.
Your oral hygiene routine cannot be overlooked in this process as well. Brushing, flossing, and seeing a dentist regularly for cleanings will protect your teeth from harmful bacteria and decay.
If you haven’t been following a good routine, it’s never too late to start. We can repair the damage that’s been done and start again with better smile goals.
One key to a healthy mouth is to prevent cavities before they begin. We take a unique approach to this by getting to know our patients really well. We will be asking you questions about your current routine and habits so that we can help you gauge your risk of decay and plan ahead to keep your teeth healthy and strong for the rest of your life! Below are a few things we can do to help you prevent decay.
Boost Home Hygiene: If your home hygiene routine is lacking, we can help you boost it. We will discuss what you do and what you could be doing to improve your oral health. We might recommend a different style of toothbrush, toothpaste, or floss. Those decisions might seem trivial, but they can make a big difference!
Fluoride Treatments: For teeth with weak enamel and frequent cavities, we might recommend routine fluoride treatments to boost your defense system against decay. This will strengthen your teeth and give you a better chance to stop decay before it begins.
Dental Sealants: We can also offer dental sealants for patients who experience frequent cavities. This is especially effective for patients with deep crevices in their teeth and for children who struggle to brush well.
More Frequent Cleanings: In some cases, it just makes the most sense for you to come into the office more frequently! Six month cleanings are the ideal, but some patients cannot wait that long between cleanings. We will only recommend this option if we feel like there is no other way to protect your teeth!
Get the Healthy Smile of Your Dreams
Want a healthier smile free of decay? Get that smile soon by calling our office TODAY to set up a consultation or appointment. We would love to get to know you and your family. We can’t wait to see you!