Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting in the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, causing it to produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, restoring the tooth to a healthy state. Nerve damage can result from severe decay and may require a crown (a crown is like a large filling that can cap a tooth, making it stronger or covering it). Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.
The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.
Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. Dentists can evaluate the level of fluoride in a primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually cease thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, talk to your dentist.
Here are some ways to help your child outgrow thumb sucking:
- Don’t scold a child when they exhibit thumb sucking behavior; instead, praise them when they don’t thumb suck.
- Focus on eliminating the cause of anxiety—thumb sucking is a comfort device that helps children cope with stress or discomfort.
- Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
- Place a bandage on the thumb or a sock on their hand at night.
Searching for high quality dental care? We know there are many choices when it comes to choosing the best dentist in Somerset New Jersey for you and your family. No Tears Dental Professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality dentistry, utilizing the latest technology and oral health care techniques. We offer gentle general dentistry, advanced restorative, preventative and aesthetic dentistry in a contemporary, soothing environment. We pride ourselves in providing the best dental experience possible for our patients.
Are you missing one or more teeth and looking for a natural, comfortable, permanent means of restoring your smile? If so, consider dental implants. We specialize in Implant Dentistry for residents of Florida and New Jersey. The No Tears Dental team is highly skilled in dental restorations and reconstructive dentistry. Learn more about Implants here.
Interested in a fairly new cosmetic dental service called veneers? Veneers are very thin custom layers of porcelain that are sealed to the front teeth for the purpose of improving their shape and color. Results and improvement are often very dramatic, all from this very conservative treatment. The best part is barely any of the natural tooth enamel needs to be removed, sometimes none is removed at all. Learn more about Veneers here. Welcome to No Tears Dental Center in Franklin township Somerset New Jersey or Miami and Plantation Florida