Tooth decay results when bacteria that naturally occur on the teeth interact with sugars in your diet. Sugar causes the bacteria to produce acids that break down the minerals in teeth, forming a cavity.
Dentists remove the decay, fill the tooth using a variety of fillings, and restore the tooth to a healthy state. Severe decay can cause nerve damage and may require a crown (a cap that covers the tooth to make it stronger).
Practicing good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment. Simply adhere to a strict dental hygiene regimen to avoid unnecessary decay: brush and floss twice a day, get regular dental checkups, control diet, remember to avoid pop and energy drinks and receive fluoride treatment.
Sealants: The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of your back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria react with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, which causes cavities. Research indicates that this reaction causes 88 percent of cavities in American school children. Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions to prevent bacteria and food particles from residing there. Sealant material is a resin typically added to the back teeth, molars and premolars, and areas prone to cavities. It lasts several years, but requires checkups during regular appointments.
We recommend that you get a routine dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth.
A routine dental cleaning is often called prophylaxis or "prophy."
Even when you brush and floss properly every day, some plaque remains on your teeth and hardens to become tartar. Tartar can be removed effectively only with a professional cleaning.
It is important to remove plaque and tartar because they are the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
To clean your teeth, we use a variety of instruments to carefully remove all the plaque and tartar above and below the gumline. These instruments may include hand scalers, an ultrasonic scaler, and dental floss, superfloss, or other flossing aids.
We may also use polishing instruments to remove stains from your teeth.
We will carefully review your homecare routine as well.
With regular dental cleanings, we can help you maintain a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.