Even if someone practices great oral hygiene — brushing their teeth and flossing after each meal — tooth decay can still occur. Tooth decay can be scary and painful. As such, it is important to learn more about the condition to know how to spot and treat it should it happen to you. Below are 7 common terms to know about tooth decay.
This refers to holes in the teeth. Cavities are usually caused by tooth decay and can cause pain and further decay if left untreated. As such, it is important to get treatment for cavities as soon as possible. Annual check-ups at the dentist are typically the best way to catch cavities and get them treated.
This refers to how cavities are treated. Fillings are typically made up of silver but can be made up of other materials too. During the procedure in which a cavity is treated, the dentist will place the filling into the cavity. This allows the hole in the tooth to be closed. It also helps to prevent further decay and stops bacteria from getting in the tooth.
Floss is a chord made up of thin filaments. The floss is used to clean the small, hard-to-get areas between each tooth. Most people like to skip the flossing part of their oral hygiene routine, but flossing is a key component in preventing tooth decay. This is because food particles can still be trapped between the teeth and create bacteria even after brushing and/or using mouthwash. Flossing is extremely good for dental hygiene.
This is something found in most mouthwash and toothpaste. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel stronger. Fluoride can even replace tooth enamel. This is particularly important because the tooth enamel cannot regenerate if it is damaged in some way. The tooth enamel is something that covers the outer layer of each tooth. It is mainly made up of minerals and helps prevent decay in the teeth.
This is a dental hygiene product that helps remove bacteria from the mouth that may cause tooth decay. Mouthwash can clean hard-to-reach places in the mouth, like the gum line or the back of the teeth. As such, it is an important part of anyone’s dental hygiene routine.
A periodontist is a healthcare professional that specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating tooth decay. They can also help prevent, diagnose, and treat other conditions or complications that tooth decay may cause. The dentist will usually refer their patients to a periodontist if the tooth decay is severe or if the patient has dealt with tooth decay for a long time.
Like mouthwash and floss, toothpaste is a dental hygiene product that is essential in helping to prevent tooth decay. When applied and brushed onto the teeth, toothpaste works by getting rid of bacteria and its acids from the mouth. These bacteria and acids can cause tooth decay. Brushing the teeth with toothpaste is an important part of good dental hygiene practice. If you have sensitive teeth, you may want to speak to your doctor about which toothpaste you should use.
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