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FAQs - Decay

There are also new and different ways to prepare a cavity for a filling. Lasers are a fairly new tool in dentistry. They have been used for several years on soft tissues, like the gums. Some dentists are starting to use lasers in place of drills to remove tooth decay. Lasers work best on decay close to the tooth's surface. Over the next few years, lasers will likely be refined and more dentists may be using them instead of drills.

Air abrasion is another new way to remove tooth decay. It uses a fine, sand-blasting spray and works best on surface decay.

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Yes, any sugar-containing beverage can increase the risk of tooth decay. Drinking pop with frequent sips throughout the day is more harmful than drinking it all at once in one sitting. The reason is that every time the sugary solution contacts the teeth, bacteria in the mouth can use that sugar to create damaging plaque acids. These acids cause dental cavities. If you drink pop, you should brush your teeth directly afterwards.

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Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.

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A pedodontist is a dental specialist that has not only completed 4 years of dental school, but has also completed an additional 2 to 3 years of specialty training to treat children only.

 

Many general dentists treat children as well as adults, but a pediatric dentist only treats children.The goal of a pediatric dentist is to teach children the importance of oral hygiene, how to take care of their teeth and to help children feel comfortable about visiting the dentist.

Many pediatric dentists do not allow parents to go back in the treatment rooms with the children. If this is a big issue for you, be sure to ask this question if you are looking for a pediatric dentist.

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Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is often added to drinking water and is commonly found in toothpaste. Research has shown that the rate of cavities decreases in areas where fluoride is added to the water supply. Health authorities, such as The American Dental Association and The World Health Organization, both advocate the addition of fluoride to drinking water, and recommend you use toothpaste that contains fluoride, if age appropriate.

 

If you do not have fluoride in your water, fluoride is also available in:

 

  • Tablets
  • Rinse
  • Varnish
  • Foam

Speak with your dentist if you are concerned whether or not you are receiving enough, or too much fluoride daily. Fluoride treatments are also given at your dental office after a cleaning appointment every six months to one year.

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