According to CDC data for 2015–2016, the prevalence of total caries (untreated and treated) among youths between the ages of 2 and 19 was 45.8 percent and untreated caries was 13.0 percent. Tooth cavity, also known as dental caries, is the result of untreated tooth decay which can lead to holes that go deep into the tooth, sometimes even reaching the root.
Here at North Pointe Dental Associates, we specialize in cosmetic and general dentistry. Our friendly staff consists of some of the best dentists in Tampa and we strongly believe that prevention is just as important as the cure. Today, we are talking about what you can do to prevent and reverse tooth decay.
What causes tooth decay?
Our mouths are never 100 percent clean. They are filled with bacteria living on our teeth, gums, and tongue. Most of them are good bacteria, but that does not mean there are no bacteria that can cause real damage if not addressed.
Some bacteria will use sugar from the drinks and foods we consume to create acid, which in turn will cause tooth cavities and decay. Enamel will start losing minerals when frequently exposed to this acid.
Early signs of tooth decay
One of the earliest signs of tooth decay is white spots where the minerals are broken down. At this stage, tooth decay can be reversed because enamel can restore itself using minerals from saliva and the toothpaste you use when brushing your teeth.
How to prevent and reverse tooth cavities
Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing. Therefore, be certain that you are using high-fluoride toothpaste. It not only helps enamel restore lost mineral, but it also reduces the ability of bacteria to create acid. Another major source of fluoride is water from a community water supply, which is often fluoridated.
Keep an eye on the drinks and foods you and your children are consuming
It is worth repeating that every time you eat something that contains sugar or starch, the bacteria in your mouth will use it to make acid. Our saliva will minimize this effect to a large extent, but if patients eat frequently throughout the day, the saliva will eventually fail at preventing tooth cavities.
For example, if you limit snacks between meals, you will give your teeth enough time and resources to restore themselves. Save candy, soda, and other sugary drinks, as well as fruit juices, for special occasions.
Do not skip brushing
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least two times a day is critical at preventing and reversing tooth decay. A major mistake that many people make, especially children, is eating or drinking anything with sugar in it after brushing their teeth. Saliva flow decreases during sleep, which gives bacteria even more opportunities to create acid and attack your teeth.
Be serious about dental appointments
While there are ways you can prevent and reverse tooth decay to some extent, the most effective way to deal with cavities and decay is by scheduling regular dentist appointments. North Pointe Dental Associates employ some of the best dentists in Tampa who are ready to solve all your general and cosmetic dentistry needs, from teeth whitening to Invisalign. Call us today at (813) 961-1727 to schedule your next appointment.