Preventing Acid Tooth Decay
We are lucky to live in a day and age when dentistry can whiten, brighten, and most importantly, keep your mouth healthy. When you look back 100, 500, or even 1000 years ago dentistry wasn’t even a shadow of what it is today. But, one advantage people had then that we don’t have now is that the foods they ate were simpler, less full of acids and sugars. Now that we have a modern society, we have to be extra careful to make up for the acids we eat.
It all starts with bacteria, the 100 million plus that live in each of our mouths. Now, most of these bacteria are natural and harmless, but it’s the small percentage of bad bacteria you need to watch out for. What makes bad bacteria bad is that they eat sugar and turn it into acid. Whenever you eat foods that contains sugars or starches like bread, soda, milk, juice, and candy, your teeth are getting coated to the acids which erode them away.
In our saliva, there are natural defenders, calcium, and phosphate. But they can’t do the work alone. When you add in fluoride from your toothpaste, the odds get a little better. A little bit at a time, they can help restore enamel, at least to a point. They can’t undo the bad damage.
Even so, unless you are also flossing and rinsing daily and making all of your scheduled dental visits, your teeth do not have their best chance to fight cavities. You can tell when you are losing enamel by the appearance of white spots on your teeth. But you shouldn’t wait for this or an emergency. Your dentist can tell even sooner by using a Soprolife© machine, available at the office of Dr. JJ Edderai. The blue light enables your dentist to see weakness in the enamel, long before it is visible to the naked eye.
Fluoride, while it should not be ingested, does have benefits for your teeth. It restricts the ability of bacteria to produce damaging acid. It also aids in preventing mineral loss. When you go in for a dental visit, your dentist may do a fluoride treatment to give your enamel a boost of strength. There are also gels and rinses you can use at home.
Children are especially susceptible to decay. Give your children more natural crunchy snacks (like celery) and fewer sweet snacks, maybe even saving them for special occasions. Teach them good brushing and flossing habits early on to make it part of the regular routine as they get older. Once your child brushes for the night, don’t give them anything sugary. And lastly, take them into the dentist early to avoid later complications.
It isn’t difficult to win the war on erosion, but it does take effort and vigilance. Think about it, you wouldn’t be an Olympic medalist if you never worked with a trainer. So, you can’t expect a healthy smile if you always avoid the dentist and don’t maintain between check-ups. Remember to be realistic, one small step, such as cutting out one chocolately indulgence a day, can save your smile.
Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.
Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016