Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
The Importance of Dental Cleanings
Dental cleanings play a crucial role in maintaining oral health, preventing the progression of dental issues. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria on teeth surfaces can lead to various problems. During a dental cleaning, a professional hygienist removes plaque and tartar, preventing the interaction of bacteria with sugars from the diet. This interaction triggers the production of acids, which, over time, can erode tooth enamel and lead to issues like cavities.
Regular dental cleanings not only help in preventing such decay but also contribute to overall gum health. In cases where advanced dental problems arise, such as gum disease, deep cleanings may be necessary to remove bacteria below the gumline. Children can ensure the longevity of their oral health by adhering to a routine of regular dental cleanings, combined with daily brushing, flossing, and maintaining a healthy diet.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.