The facts of tooth decay
- Posted on: Sep 15 2021
Keeping the smile healthy is easy when you know how to avoid the development of conditions such as tooth decay. Tooth decay, sometimes referred to as dental caries or “cavities,” can negatively impact the smile in a number of different ways. Dr. Robert D. Bankhardt and his team in Simi Valley, California work routinely with patients to assist them in maintaining healthy smiles and reducing their risk of developing tooth decay. Education is key. Below are many common questions asked to him and his team regarding tooth decay.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is the formation of deterioration that occurs on the natural tooth’s enamel. The enamel is the hard, outer surface of the tooth that is visible. When cavities develop, it essentially eats away holes into the tooth. The larger and deeper the cavity becomes, the more damaging it can be. In some instances, decay may become large enough to require intensive repair, including the need for procedures such as root canal therapy. Sometimes, when the tooth has damage beyond repair, it may require removal and replacement.
How does tooth decay develop?
Tooth decay is caused by foods with significant amounts of sugars, which bond to bacteria in the mouth that is constantly forming on the surfaces of the teeth. A film develops, called plaque, and can create acids that break down natural tooth enamel and creates cavities.
How do I prevent cavities?
There are several ways in which patients can keep their smile healthy. Below are a few recommendations for reducing the risk of developing decay:
- Brushing the teeth after every meal and snack
- Flossing at least once a day, preferably twice
- Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to strengthen tooth enamel
- Visiting the dentist at least twice a year
- Making an appointment with a dentist when changes occur to the smile
How do I learn more about protecting my smile from tooth decay?
Educating yourself on prevention is vital to ensuring you have a healthy smile for life! If you reside in the area of Simi Valley, California and are ready to discuss the benefits of protecting the smile from cavities, contact Dr. Robert D. Bankhardt and his team by calling (805) 584-1194 and scheduling a consultation visit at 2720 Cochran Street, Suite #2B.