Tooth Decay Prevention

As a leading Sunbury general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry practice, the team at Sunbury Dental wants to help patients keep their smiles shining and bright throughout their lives. A big part of that is preventing tooth decay from forming in the mouth. And in order to do that, it is vital that patients understand how tooth decay forms, and what steps they can take to best avoid it.

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting from the interaction of naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth with the sugars consumed in your diet.

Sugar causes a reaction in bacteria, which causes the bacteria to produce acids. These acids break down the minerals in your teeth, forming a cavity. Your local Sunbury dentist can remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, or cover the tooth with a crown. However, avoiding the decay in the first place is a much more preferable option.

To prevent tooth decay, Dr. Dean Backiewicz and Dr. Kelsey Esber advise that patients:

  • Maintain a good oral hygiene regimen
  • Utilize fluoride
  • Keep a healthy diet
  • Use dental sealants
  • And come in for regular dental visits 

Oral Hygiene

Preventing unnecessary tooth decay requires a strict adherence to dental hygiene. This includes thoroughly brushing and flossing at least twice a day, preferably after meals and before going to bed so that your teeth are nice and clean when you go to sleep.

Fluoride 

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking fluoridated water and utilizing fluoride products in your oral hygiene regimen leads to significantly fewer cavities.

Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water. Your dentist can evaluate the level of fluoride in your primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements if necessary. Your dentist can also recommend many kinds of toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even some dental flosses that contain fluoride. Additionally, we suggest all patients use a topical fluoride varnish treatment every six months. 

Diet Control

The teeth, bones, and soft tissues of your mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups will help you minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth. Meanwhile, you should limit your consumption of sugary and starchy foods like candies, cookies, chips, and crackers.

Dental Sealants

The grooves that form on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) are extremely difficult to clean. As your mouth’s bacteria reacts with the food that gets trapped there, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Dental sealants can protect these areas by sealing the grooves, preventing bacteria and food particles from accumulating. The sealants are made of a resin material that is applied to the back teeth, molars, premolars and any area prone to cavities. Sealants can last for several years, but need to be checked during regular appointments at our Sunbury office.

Regular Dental Visits

In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups with your dentist. You should visit your dentist twice a year (once every six months), or more often if you have a history of gum/periodontal disease. At each appointment, your Sunbury dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment.

Contacting Your Dentist

If you have more questions about preventing tooth decay, don’t hesitate to contact our team. For all your dental needs—from traditional care to cosmetic dentistry to orthodontics—Sunbury Dental has you covered!