Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay is a very common problem among children and adults alike. Many people do not even realize they have tooth decay until a painful cavity or a tooth abscess has developed which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. As an Ocean Springs dentist who strives to help his patients achieve and maintain healthy & attractive smiles, Dr. McCabe and his team put an emphasis on prevention. Preventing tooth decay is a joint effort between you, your dentist and your hygienist.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when the harmful bacteria in the mouth combines with the sugars found in foods to produce acids. Over time, these acids slowly destroy the enamel on teeth to cause tooth decay. The symptoms of tooth decay can include:

●    Tooth pain
●    Swollen gums
●    Bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth
●    Darkened spots on the teeth

Tooth Decay Prevention

While tooth decay is a very common problem, it can be avoided by doing the following things:

●    Eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar
●    Brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once per day
●    Scheduling routine visits with your general dentist for checkups and professional cleanings
●    Having regular fluoride treatments and especially if your main source of water does not contain enough fluoride

Importance of Diet

In order to keep your teeth, supporting bones and soft tissues of the mouth healthy, it is very important to eat a well-balanced and healthy diet. To avoid tooth decay, steer clear of cavity-causing foods and snacks high in sugars and starches like candies, cookies, crackers and chips. When you get the urge to snack, reach for healthier choices like fresh vegetables, nuts, low fat yogurts and cheeses. It's just as important to limit your consumption of sugary drinks like sodas, fruit juices & sports drinks and drink water instead.

Tooth Sealants Can Help

A tooth sealant is a thin coating made of a resin material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to help protect them from decay. The chewing surfaces of the back teeth have grooves or fissures which makes it difficult if not impossible to remove tiny particles of food and bacteria. As plaque develops in these grooves, the acids from bacteria in the plaque attacks the tooth enamel, which eventually leads to tooth decay. We can apply tooth sealants to these areas to seal the grooves so food and bacteria cannot accumulate. Tooth sealants can last for several years with routine maintenance.

How Fluoride Helps Prevent Tooth Decay

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring substance that strengthens teeth so they're more resistant to decay. Drinking fluoridated water on a regular basis while doing a great job with your brushing and flossing routine can go far in helping you avoid getting tooth decay. Most public water supplies contain fluoride but if you're unsure if there is enough fluoride in your drinking water, we can evaluate how much fluoride your water has in it and recommend fluoride supplements if necessary. We recommend using toothpastes and mouth rinses which contain fluoride.

Contact Us

At the office of Dr.Tyler McCabe, we provide general dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry to patients of all ages living in and around Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Our practice also offers advanced periodontal care and root canal treatment. If you have any questions about tooth decay or how to avoid this very common problem that affects millions of Americans, please do not hesitate to contact us as we're always happy to speak with you! By working together with you, we can help you avoid tooth decay so you can enjoy having a healthy and attractive smile for a lifetime!