Hamilton Dental Restorations
Just over 37% of Canadian adults brush their teeth twice a day. One in five Canadians avoids going to the dentist because of the cost (especially those without insurance coverage). The most common oral diseases, worldwide, are tooth decay/cavities and gum disease and unfortunately, these are the most preventable.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay can occur during every stage of life, including in toddlers and children. When plaque coats your teeth (which is inevitable, but most of it can be removed when you brush your teeth with a fluoride-based toothpaste), foods and drinks that are sugary or acidic stick to your teeth for a longer period of time and eat away at your enamel.
When enamel weakens, it can be hard to reverse this and over time, a cavity will form. Cavities aren’t always noticeable but obvious signs will include an actual hole in your tooth, tooth sensitivity/discomfort, or a brown/black “pit”.
What Do Fillings Do?
Fillings are what replace the tooth decay after it’s been removed. You’ve most likely seen a silver or gold filling, but nowadays, thanks to the advancement in dentistry, we use a white composite material that looks like your natural teeth. Fillings help prevent that area from ever decaying again and are very durable and long-lasting.
The process of removing a cavity is actually quite simple – we’ll drill a hole in the tooth and remove the decay, after which, the hole is filled with the composite material that will mould and shape inside the drilled hole. It will be “cured” into place with a safe ultraviolet light. This helps it last longer.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
There are many things that can contribute to cavities such as:
- Acidic foods and drinks
- Dry mouth
- Eating disorders
- Poor oral hygiene
- Sugary foods and drinks
Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste, followed by flossing once a day, is your best bet in reducing your chances of tooth decay.
Fluoride helps to keep enamel strong and flossing can help remove debris your toothbrush can’t reach. But, it’s not always possible to remove every single piece of plaque/tartar, therefore, it’s necessary to visit us for regular six-month checkups so we can remove it completely for you.
How To Prevent Tooth Decay
As mentioned above, it’s important to maintain the proper oral hygiene routine to avoid too much harmful bacteria from building up. By brushing your teeth twice a day, preferably once during the day and once at night with a fluoride-based toothpaste, followed by flossing and rinsing with mouthwash once a day, this should drastically reduce your chances of experiencing tooth decay. Here are other ways you can avoid cavities:
- Rinse with water regularly, especially after snacking on sugary or salty foods and drinking caffeine.
- Schedule regular six-month cleaning appointments where we’ll clean, scale and polish your teeth and hard-to-reach areas where tartar builds up.
- Don’t actually brush your teeth too much. Using too much fluoride, especially abrasive toothpaste, can actually do more harm than good by weakening tooth enamel making them more susceptible to cavities.
- Avoid frequent snacking. This causes acids and bacteria to sit in your mouth throughout the day.
- Don’t actually brush your teeth right after eating, especially if it was an acidic product, like orange juice for example. Because you just drank it, it’s still sitting on your teeth and by brushing them, you’re actually spreading the acidity around more. The general rule is to brush your teeth 30 minutes after eating or drinking.
- Eat healthier. We’re not telling you to completely cut out caffeine and sugar, but by lessening your intake, you’re increasing your chances of having a healthier smile. Try opting for sugar-free gum or not putting it in your coffee or tea.
It’s Not Just About Your Teeth. It’s About You Too.
Let our friendly dental team help you take control of your oral health again using our dental technology. At Hamilton Mountain Dental Group, improving patient experience is very important to us as well as keeping every patient well-informed throughout any procedure. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.