Tooth decay is a very prevalent oral health concern, one affecting children, adults, and seniors. However, few people realize just how easily they can prevent cavities or significantly reduce the risk of developing them. How do you prevent cavities? With a focus on a healthier diet and improving oral health you can strengthen your smile and limit your risk of tooth decay.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cavity Prevention
Question: What causes tooth decay?
Answer: Our teeth are composed of several layers. The outermost layer of tooth enamel protects the tooth from harmful bacteria. However, if the enamel is weakened and eroded due to injury or poor oral hygiene, then bacteria can bypass the enamel and reach the dentin, a more sensitive inner layer. At this point, tooth decay can form.
Question: How do I know if I have a cavity?
Answer: People typically notice the presence of decay when they experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures or a persistent toothache. Once you notice pain in your tooth you should see a dentist right away for a diagnosis. However, by seeing a dentist for routine checkups once every six months you increase the chances of decay being caught in earlier stages, before you experience discomfort.
Question: What steps can I take to avoid future cavities?
Answer: First, cut back on harmful foods and drinks. Foods high in sugar and other starches can promote decay. Drinks high in sugar and/or acidic content, such as soda, energy drinks, fruit juices, or sports drinks can also endanger the teeth. Next, take better care of your smile. We suggest brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once. In addition, have your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist or hygienist twice a year.
Question: How does a doctor treat a cavity?
Answer: In most cases we will place a filling. We remove the decayed portions and fill the tooth with a lifelike composite resin, restoring the health and appearance of the tooth.
ABOUT YOUR AUSTIN, MN, DENTIST:
Our team offers our patients and their family access to comprehensive dental care, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.