Tooth decay is known as the second most prevalent disease in humans, followed only by the common cold. Children, teens and adults are all alike in suffering from this particular dental issue. Though tooth decay is so common, it’s also one of the easiest diseases to prevent.
Tooth decay occurs when acids produced by bacteria in the mouth begin to break down the minerals that form the enamel (the hard, white outer layer) of teeth. The environment inside your mouth is more complicated than you think. When you eat food, the bacteria in your mouth use it for sustenance as well. Bacteria excrete acids when digesting pieces of food stuck between teeth, especially sugary and starchy foods. If you excessively consume acidic foods, it can lead to enamel breakdown as well.
Dentists recommend everyone to brush their teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent tooth decay and even more harmful problems like gum disease. Regular flossing is also strongly recommended. However, brushing and flossing cannot prevent chronic tooth decay in some people. In such cases, you can consider any one of the following preventative dental treatments to keep tooth decay at bay:
1. Dental Sealants
This is a treatment recommended for both adults and children to prevent tooth decay. A dental sealant is a thin resin layer that a dentist brushes onto the chewing surfaces of molars. The back molars are particularly prone to decay. The back teeth have uneven and rough surfaces that are sometimes difficult for tooth bristles to get to for cleaning. A sealant, thus, can prevent acids made by bacteria from seeping on to the enamel. Dental sealants only have to be reapplied every 10 years. But they do need to be regularly checked. If this is a treatment option you’d like to consider, make sure you first seek reputable dental practitioners like Vibrant Dentistry for a checkup.
2. Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a mineral that can act against bacteria and acids that cause the destruction of enamel. Fluoride is often included in toothpaste. Most of us also get fluoride from drinking water. However, the fluoride present in water and toothpaste may not be sufficient for some people. In that case, you can go to a dentist for fluoride treatments that may prevent tooth decay and reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. You must go to a dentist for a careful examination before taking fluoride treatments. Though the mineral is harmless in small amounts, excessive amounts of fluoride are known to be fatal.
3. Antibacterial Treatments
If tooth decay is an ongoing problem, a dentist may recommend antibacterial treatments, such as mouthwashes. You must first go in for an examination before getting these treatments. The bacteria in the mouth are essential for oral health. But some harmful bacteria could tip the fine environmental balance in your mouth towards the worse. In this case, dentists prescribe antibacterial treatments that reduce the number of bacteria that latch on to teeth.
If tooth decay is a problem that brushing is not fixing for you, then seriously consider getting the above treatments.