What is Preventive Dentistry and How Does it Affect Tooth Decay?
Preventive dentistry is a combination of things. Take good care of your oral health by brushing and flossing your teeth, and seeing your dentist and hygienist regularly. Catching and stopping tooth decay before it causes too much damage.
What causes tooth decay? It is caused by a variety of things; in medical terms, cavities are called caries, which are caused by long-term destructive forces acting on tooth structures such as enamel and the tooth’s inner dentin material.
These destructive forces include frequent exposure to foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates; soda, candy, ice cream-even milk-are the common culprits. Left inside your mouth from non-brushing and flossing, or other poor dental hygiene habits, these materials break down quickly, allowing bacteria to do their dirty work in the form of a harmful, colorless sticky substance called plaque.
The plaque works in concert with leftover food particles in your mouth to form harmful acids that destroy enamel and other tooth structures. So, not only is it beneficial to practice regular oral hygiene, it’s also helpful to avoid foods that harm your teeth. It is often overlooked that habits such as tobacco and alcohol are also detrimental to the health of your teeth and can even lead to oral cancer.
Dr. Eberlein at Mid Cities Dental knows if cavities aren’t treated early enough, they can lead to more serious problems requiring treatments such as root canal therapy.
- The best preventive dentistry against cavities is good oral hygiene, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and rinsing.
- Your body’s saliva is also an excellent cavity fighter because it contains special chemicals that rinse away many harmful materials.
- Chewing a good sugarless gum will stimulate saliva production between brushing as well.
- Special sealants and varnishes can also be applied to stave off cavities from forming.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have a cavity:
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Preventive Dentistry starts before your baby even gets their first tooth in. Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby’s mouth.
If left untreated, this can lead to premature decay of your baby’s future primary teeth, which can later hamper the proper formation of permanent teeth.
One of the best ways to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to not allow your baby to nurse on a bottle while going to sleep. Encouraging your toddler to drink from a cup as early as possible will also help stave off the problems associated with baby bottle tooth decay. For more information about Children’s Dentistry click here.
Simple toothaches can often be relieved by rinsing the mouth to clear it of debris and other matter. Sometimes, a toothache can be caused or aggravated by a piece of debris lodged between the tooth and another tooth. Avoid placing an aspirin between your tooth and gum to relieve pain, because the dissolving aspirin can actually harm your gum tissue.