You can prevent tooth decay by following a healthy diet, drinking plenty of tap water instead of sugary drinks, brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and flossing once a day. Tooth decay must be treated by a dentist to prevent it from getting worse. During preventive visits, we'll suggest fluoride treatments and sealants to reverse any signs of tooth decay and prevent cavities from forming on your child's back molars. By taking a proactive approach to dental care and protecting teeth that are prone to decay from direct contact with acidic and sugary foods, your child is much less likely to experience tooth decay.
Without this intervention, a cavity will need a filling or, in more severe cases, removing the tooth completely. Sometimes, after a dental checkup, you may need more fluoride to prevent cavities; this is where prescription high-fluoride toothpastes come into play. Because many older adults lacked the benefits of fluoride and modern preventive dental care when they were young, they often undergo multiple dental fillings. When a tooth is frequently exposed to acids (for example, if you eat or drink frequently, especially foods or beverages that contain sugar and starches), repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals.
Sealants cover these surfaces and form a barrier that protects teeth and prevents food and bacteria from being trapped there. Tooth decay is the result of infection with certain types of bacteria that use sugars in food to produce acids. Chewing sugar-free gum helps protect your teeth and gums between meals, when you may not be able to brush them with a toothbrush. Once tooth decay progresses to the root, you risk losing your tooth or developing a painful abscess (infection).
Tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth structure and can affect both the enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) and the dentin layer of the tooth. We know it seems obvious, but proper brushing and flossing is your child's first line of defense when it comes to preventing tooth decay. When tooth decay isn't treated for too long, you can lose a large part of your tooth and need an extraction. Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) remain in your teeth, such as breads, cereals, milk, soft drinks, fruits, pastries, or candy.