Medical researchers explains the prevention of dental caries in explicit terms. Dental caries is among the world’s most frequent oral health problems. Each year, millions of people from different parts of the globe suffer from infected and painful cavities.
While this can happen to practically anyone, the little ones are at a higher risk for caries cavities. This is because they do not practice good oral hygiene. Thankfully, it is also highly preventable. This article will share some simple tips on how to prevent dental caries.
Having good oral hygiene is an important part of general well-being. Dental caries occurs due to the mineralization of tissues in the teeth caused by the action of microorganisms in the food we eat.
What is Dental Caries?
Dental caries is the breakdown of tooth structure and can affect the enamel, the outer coating of the tooth, and the dentin.
Dental caries occurs when foods rich in carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as slices of bread, milk, soda, fruits, cereals, cakes, or candies remain in the teeth for some time. The bacteria that thrive in the mouth digest these substances and turn them into acids. The bacteria, food debris, acid, and saliva combine to form a ‘plaque’, which clings to one’s teeth. The acids in plaque further dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the tooth called cavities.
Good oral and dental practices can lead to the prevention of dental caries. Here are some tips for the prevention of dental caries. Ask your dentist which tips are suitable for you.
Prevention of Dental Caries
1. Brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking.
One of the preventions of dental caries is to brush the teeth at least twice a day and ideally after your meal; this is achieved by using fluoride-containing toothpaste. Brush, floss, and clean between your teeth or use an interdental cleaner.
2. Rinse your mouth often with water or fluoride.
If your dentist feels you are at a high risk of developing cavities, they may recommend you use a mouth rinse with fluoride and water often to get rid of dirt and debris.
3. Visit your dentist
Get professional dental cleanings and regular oral exams often, which can help in preventing problems or spot them at an early phase. Your dentist can recommend a routine that is best for you. They are like superman for your teeth. So why not pay a visit to one?
4. Consider dental sealants.
A dental sealant is a protective plastic layer applied to the chewing surface of the back set of teeth. It seals off grooves, crannies, and cavities that tend to collect food particles, protecting the enamel from plaque buildup and acid secretion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sealants for all children of school age. Sealants may last a few years before replacement, but follow-up is important.
5. Drink some tap water
Most public water systems have added fluoride to promote good dental health, which can significantly help reduce dental caries. If you drink only packaged water that does not contain fluoride, you will miss out on the benefits of fluoride.
6. Avoid frequent snacks and drinks
Whenever you eat or drink beverages and tea other than water, you help the bacteria in your mouth to create acids that potentially destroy tooth enamel. If you snack or drink throughout the day, your teeth will be under constant attack.
7. Eat healthy foods
Some foods are better for your teeth than others. Avoid foods that easily get stuck in grooves and pits of the teeth for long periods, or you can brush them soon after eating them. However, foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits increase saliva. Tea, unsweetened coffee, and sugar-free gum wash away food particles.
Dental Caries Treatments
Professionally, there are four main ways to treat and manage dental caries. These treatments, conducted by dental professionals, can help treat damages incurred from dental caries.
Fillings: Fillings are the most popular form of treatment for dental caries. A professional drill into the affected area of the teeth removes the decayed substances inside the cavity and packs appropriate dental filling material into this space.
Crowns: Crowns are another alternative used by professionals for treating dental caries. They are used when a large portion of the tooth is destroyed. When the tooth becomes more susceptible to breaks and cracks, the dentist often attempts to salvage the remaining tooth by repairing it and finally fitting the tooth with an alloy or porcelain crown coverage.
Root Canal: As tooth decay advances into the middle of the tooth, it may further damage the nerves in the root. An expert dentist would remove the dysfunctional or dead nerve with the surrounding pulp and fill the area. The procedure often ends with the dentist placing a crown over the affected surface.
Extraction: In extreme cases, the tooth may be damaged beyond any repair and must be extracted if there are risk of infection or bacteria spreading to nearby structures like the jaw bone.
Prevention of Dental Caries – FAQ
1. How do you prevent dental caries in children?
Start brushing your child’s teeth on time – as soon as the first tooth appears. Use only a minute amount of toothpaste, which is about the size of a grain of rice, endeavor that your child eats a balanced diet at all times, etc.
2. What causes dental caries?
Dental caries happens when decay-causing bacteria in the mouth produce acids that attack the tooth’s outer surface or enamel; this can create a small hole in the teeth, called a cavity.
3. Can you stop dental caries once it starts?
Fortunately, the beginning phases of caries can reverse by taking adequate steps toward good oral health. During early stages, exposure to fluoride, regular brushing and flossing, and regular deep cleanings can all help to prevent — or even reverse — dental caries.
Scientists are developing new measures to prevent tooth decay. One study proposed that chewing gum that contains certain sweeteners, like xylitol, can temporarily retard the growth of bacteria that leads to dental caries. In addition, several substances that slowly release fluoride over time, which will aid in preventing further decay, are being studied. Toothpaste, mouth rinse, and fluoride solutions that can reverse and “heal” early stages of cavities are explored.
The prevention of dental caries is not a mystery, nor is it so tasking as most people think. With these simple tips and guides above, you are keeping your teeth free of caries, cavities, and decay.