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Tooth Decay is the destruction of tooth enamel – the hard outer layer of the tooth – and is a result of sugars reacting with bacteria that lives in plaque, releasing acids that erode tooth enamel and the softer underlying tissue called dentin.
Tooth Decay can be prevented by following your dentist’s recommendations for avoiding cavities. Family Dentists at Centennial Smiles Dental in Calgary have a few tips that will help patients win the fight against dental decay – and can be used by patients of all ages. Dental Decay isn’t just a childhood ailment – even middle-aged adults can fall victim to the destruction of decay – because it’s a reaction between sugars in our diet and bacteria on our teeth – making everyone susceptible. Dental Decay prevention can be achieved by paying attention to the amount of sugary foods you consume (that includes pops and sodas), brushing and flossing daily and maintaining fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel.
Fluoride is a big player in the defense against dental decay – and works by slowing down the demineralisation of enamel while helping to remineralise areas of enamel that have already lost calcium and phosphate and are at risk of decay. Without the strengthening and protective effects of fluoride teeth can become highly susceptible to forming cavities – with every tooth being a target of enamel erosion by acids. Using a toothpaste that contains fluoride is a great daily defense – remember that babies and toddlers just need the equivalent of a grain of rice on their tooth brush – young children can handle a pea-sized amount and adults don’t really need much more than this either. And regular fluoride treatments at the dentist can further boost the strength and health of teeth – especially in those prone to decay.
Seeing your dentist and hygienist for routine cleanings can also help prevent the formation of dental decay by removing oral bacteria that live on tooth surfaces. Though we are big promoters of an effective homecare routine – nothing replaces seeing your dental team for a professional cleaning, as not only is plaque and calculus being removed, any signs of dental decay is noted and treated before an extensive cavity forms.
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