When you hear the term “tooth decay”, the usual thing that you may think about in association with this term is “cavities”. Also known as caries, these are often thought of as holes that can be filled in when needed. Before these holes develop however, did you know that you can actually delay such a thing from happening with the help of your dentist?
Cavities and tooth decay can indeed be treated and stopped way before any real damage is done to your teeth. What you need to do in order to stop the onset of cavities, and to delay the damaging effect of tooth decay, is to first visit your dentist for an assessment. Your dentist can easily check your teeth to see if any decay is threatening to create holes in your teeth, and this can be done with a careful checking of your mouth.
Aside from checking for developing cavities, your dentist will also ask questions to find out how prone you are to such a thing from happening. Some of the questions you will be asked will include what your diet is, what your dental hygiene routine is, and whether or not you have been prone to cavities in the past. Aside from these questions, your dental professional will also check the level of bacteria in your mouth.
Once these are all done, your dentist can then tell whether you are at a low or high risk of developing cavities and tooth damaging tooth decay. Those who are considered low-risk are those who have not suffered from cavities in a year, who do not ingest too much sweet and starchy food, and who are found to have very little cavity-inducing bacteria in their mouth. If you are assessed as a low risk person, then you will often be given decay delaying treatments, like calcium pastes or fluoride varnishes, to stop any possible threat of cavities or tooth decay.
Such treatments are used on such individuals every few months in order to ensure that cavities are indeed held at bay, and do not develop. These treatments are even seen to help repair teeth that are showing developing signs of decay and cavities in what is called “remineralization”. Before a person’s tooth is retreated with such varnishes and pastes however, the dentist will check to see if the treatment is indeed working.
Those who are found to be at a high risk of developing cavities and tooth decay will often be told to increase the frequency of their dental visits. They will also be advised to include in their dental hygiene routines the use of bacteria-killing mouth rinses, as well as to have developing cavities filled. Fluoride varnishes will also be applied to the teeth in order to further protect these from tooth decay and the development of cavities.
In the end, whether you are considered at a high-risk or low risk for developing cavities, or suffering from tooth decay, what is important is you can actually prevent this from worsening. You can have your dentist tell you about the options they have for protecting your teeth from such damaging occurrences. They can give you advice, along with various treatments, to delay the onset of tooth decay.