How to Prevent Tooth Decay
A smile is a great way to greet someone, encourage a friend or simply brighten your mood. At Passes Dental Care, we understand that some people need a little help when it comes to keeping teeth their healthiest. Dr. Passes, your local Great Neck dentist, can perform professional cleanings and services to prevent issues such as tooth decay, which can cause pain and costly repairs. In order to keep smiling with comfort and confidence, follow his tips for warding off tooth decay.
What Is Tooth Decay?
When the bacteria that naturally exist on your teeth interact with sugars in the food you eat, the result may be acids that actually destroy a tooth’s mineral substance. Tooth decay is a progressive disease that, over time, may:
- Form a cavity
- Cause nerve damage in more severe cases
- Require a filling or a crown to restore the tooth to a healthy state
Fortunately, there are several preventative measures you can take to avoid these problems.
Your mouth holds several different types of teeth. The back teeth, which are used for grinding and chewing food, feature depressions and grooves where food particles and bacteria can easily become trapped. That mixture can form corrosive acids that break down tooth enamel. In fact, studies show that nearly 90 percent of cavities among school-age children result from this process.
The good news is that you can actually seal off these grooves and depressions to keep food or bacteria from sticking around. Tooth sealants are typically applied to molars and premolars that are prone to getting cavities. The sealants are made from resin and can last for years as long as you get them checked regularly.
If you are not sure if your water is treated with fluoride, check with your utility company. This substance actually helps your teeth resist decay. If necessary, our team can recommend supplements you can take in order to increase the amount of fluoride you are getting. You should also look for toothpaste that contains fluoride and make sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
Help Your Children Prevent Tooth Decay
Good hygiene start at a young age, which is why it is important to teach your children proper brushing and flossing techniques. Additionally, kids, just like adults, should visit the dentist for a regular check-up every six months. While these habits are great to develop, there may be other habits your child has that you may need to break. Thumb-sucking, for example, can be detrimental to a child’s mouth.
If your child still sucks his or her thumb after his or her primary teeth have erupted, the teeth may not grow in properly. Our team can recommend ways to help your child quit thumb-sucking, such as:
- Praising him or her for avoiding the behavior
- Eliminating the anxiety that causes the behavior
- Placing a bandage or sock on the hand overnight
Contact Us Today
At Passes Dental Care, our mission is to help our patients achieve the best oral health possible. We can help you prevent dental issues with Dr. Passes’ recommendations and we also offer general, implant, and cosmetic dentistry to get your healthy smile back. To learn more about how we can help you today, contact our office to schedule an appointment.