North Delta and Surrey Dentist Discusses How to Prevent Dental Decay

 

North Delta Dental -preventing decay cartoon

Bacteria in your mouth cause dental decay. These bacteria digest the carbs in your diet and then make acid. This acid then breaks down the enamel, leading to dental decay.

But you can prevent dental decay. Floss and brush your teeth for 3 minutes, twice a day to keep good oral health. Then take it one step further, and prevent dental decay with 3 things: fluoride, sealants and diet modification.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural element which controls and prevents dental decay and makes teeth stronger. Fluoride works by putting minerals back into the tooth surface, making your tooth enamel stronger and more durable.

You get most of your fluoride from food, but you also get it from bottled water, toothpaste or mouth rinses.

Dr. Tham and your North Delta Dental team also apply fluoride varnish or gel during your regular dental appointments. We paint this varnish onto your teeth as a protective coating. It’s important to keep your regular appointments to keep this fluoride protective.  Dr. Tham will also assess the need for fluoride supplements based on your risk for dental decay.

 

Sealants

Your back teeth have deep pits and grooves that lure decay-causing food and bacteria into their traps.

So, to prevent decay in your back teeth, dentists use sealants. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings which flow into the deep pits and grooves to prevent bacteria from multiplying and starting tooth decay.

Dr. Tham and your North Delta Dental team assess your sealant need during your regular examination and professional cleanings. Generally, we apply sealant first as your permanent adult teeth erupt. Sealants can then last 5 years or longer, until your next application.

Dental decay is the second most common disease in people after the common cold. Don’t leave your teeth open to disgusting bacteria that lead to decay: brush and floss your teeth, and visit Dr. Tham’s North Delta/Surrey clinic regularly to keep your fluoride and sealants up to date.

Diet Modification

Carbs are the fuel for bacteria in your mouth to produce the acid that can lead to dental decay.  Your own saliva counter-acts that acid but it is a slow process that takes 2-3 hours.  If you have small meals or snack often throughout the day, then your mouth stays acidic and this increases your risk for developing decay.  Modifications to the overall amount of carbs eaten and the frequency eaten throughout the day will help reduce your risk for dental decay.  Snacks like are nuts, cheeses and vegetables are better than crackers, granola and dried fruit.

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