The job of a family dentist is to help care for your pearly whites from childhood through adulthood. This provider not only suggests annual or semi-annual visits but also ways you can reduce the risk of damaging teeth. The foods and beverages someone consumes have a lot to do with the condition of their teeth, and understanding the effects of the acidity and sugar may help curb consumption.
The American Dental Association urges people to prevent decay by brushing twice daily for a minimum of two minutes each time. Flossing at least once daily helps remove food particles from between the teeth. These areas tend to become a hotbed for plaque, the bacteria that may develop if sugar and acid compromise a tooth's integrity. Along with daily practices, people should visit the dentist at least once a year for checkups that include X-rays and deep cleanings. Many dentists recommend visiting twice a year to keep teeth clean and address issues sooner.
Tooth damage does not happen overnight. The process of decay begins innocently enough, but if it is not stopped, it can grow into a significant health issue.
The mouth is the gateway to the body for nutrition and germs. While consuming the food needed for fuel, there is a chance that bacteria gains entry into the mouth. If there is nowhere for it to settle, it continues through the digestive system, usually getting eradicated by the body's defense systems. However, if bacteria happens to land on a sticky surface in the mouth, such as a sugar-coated tooth, it may spell trouble for a person's oral health.
Ever spill a fountain drink and felt sticky, even after it is cleaned up? Sugar is sticky, and when it is an ingredient in foods and beverages, it remains in the mouth long after the food is gone. The longer the teeth are exposed to it, the more likely teeth are to sustain damage. Sugar, like acid, eats away at the enamel that protects teeth. If a person drinks or eats things high in either without regular brushing and flossing, these substances may start to deface and compromise teeth.
As the sugar and acid continue to feed on the teeth, points of entry begin to open for bacteria to enter. These may start as hairline cracks or tiny holes. Once bacteria find these fissures, it begins to dig down into the tooth. The sugar continues its path as well, and the two eventually create a cavity that needs filling by a family dentist.
If caught in time, the dentist can clean the cavity, remove bacteria and fill the hole. However, if there is not timely intervention, the bacteria can eventually wind up in the root of the tooth. This may necessitate a surgical removal called a root canal to quash the infection and save adjacent teeth.
A family dentist is a helpful resource for maintaining a healthy smile. In the fight against tooth decay, a dentist can be an important ally.
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