Most people understand that good oral hygiene and regular appointments with the family dentist can stop cavities. The issue is that many people do not understand the importance of visiting the dentist when they already have an excellent oral hygiene routine. The family dentist is a trained professional with many techniques for preventing tooth decay.
Preventive treatments for cavities
Cavities can wreak havoc on the teeth, including possible loss, if not treated promptly. Some of the ways a family dentist can help prevent cavities include:
Regular dental cleanings
Plaques are largely responsible for cavities. The sticky substance covers the tooth's surface and comes from the sugar leftover from food. Sugary remnants on the teeth serve as a meal for the bacteria present in the mouth, producing the plaques. Even with regular brushing and flossing, complete removal of plaques is hardly possible.
The plaque leftover soon starts to harden into tartar or calculus. The tartar can become a protective shield for bacteria, which produces acids that slowly break down the tooth enamel and leads to decay and cavities. Brushing cannot clean hardened plaque or tartar – only the dentist can. During the dental appointment, the dentist will use their tools to scrape tartar and plaque off the teeth, preventing the development of decay.
Fluoride remineralizes the enamel, the hard layer that protects the tooth. The remineralization strengthens the enamel, making it more resistant to cavities. Fluoride treatment is an excellent option for patients who are prone to developing cavities. The family dentist can provide a fluoride treatment.
The fluoride varnish is applied with a small brush over the top and side of every teeth. The material is sticky but quickly hardens upon exposure to saliva. Patients will feel the varnish on their teeth but cannot lick it off. Fluoride treatment is painless can also be provided in the form of foams and gels.
A dental sealant is a plastic protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars, usually the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities. The molars and premolars have grooves that may be deep and tend to trap food debris easily, leading to decay formation.
The process involves preparing the teeth and applying the liquid dental sealant over them. The family dentist will harden the sealant using a special light. Once the sealant hardens over the teeth, it becomes a hard plastic coating. This will prevent food and bacteria from getting stuck on the teeth; brushing the teeth's surfaces is also easier. Sealants are often recommended for children between ages six and 14.
Book an appointment with the family dentist
Regular visits to the family dentist can prevent the occurrence of cavities. The dentist will recommend preventive treatments if they think it will be beneficial. However, you need to know that these treatments do not replace regular brushing and flossing at home. If they discover signs of cavities on the teeth, they will provide restorative options like dental fillings to restore the tooth.