The pain caused by TMJ (temporomandibular joints) disorders can be stressful for those who suffer from it. Simple activities such as having dinner with family or conducting a presentation in the workplace may invite distracting jaw pain or headaches. Although there are ways to help relieve the pain at home, visiting a dentist to diagnose…
How a Family Dentist Can Help Prevent Cavities
You most likely know that brushing, flossing and regular visits to a family dentist are important for preventing cavities. However, you might be wondering why you need to see a family dentist if you are already brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. There are several things that a family dentist can do that can reduce your likelihood of getting cavities. These can include cleanings, fluoride treatments and protective coatings.
Cavities are caused by a sticky substance known as plaque. This coats the teeth and is caused by the sugars and starches in foods. When the starches and sugars remain on the teeth, the bacteria in the mouth can begin to feed on them and cause plaque. Even if individuals clean and floss the teeth regularly, it can be difficult to completely remove all of the plaque from the teeth.
The plaque on the teeth can begin to harden into a substance known as tartar, or calculus. This tartar can coat the teeth and make it more difficult to remove the plaque. The tartar can also form a shield that can prevent the bacteria from being removed from the teeth. Once plaque has hardened on the teeth into tartar, only a dentist can completely remove it. Regular cleanings can help the dentist easily remove all of the plaque and tartar from the teeth. The family dentist will use a special tool to carefully scrape away the hardened tartar.
Fluoride is a mineral that can help to strengthen the tooth’s protective covering. This covering is known as enamel. It can protect the teeth from getting cavities. If a patient is at a higher risk of getting cavities, then fluoride treatments can help these patients prevent them.
A family dentist can work to apply fluoride to the teeth. The patient does not swallow the fluoride from these treatments. Therefore, it can be safer than drinking water with excessive amounts of fluoride in it. These treatments can come in the form of gels, foams or varnishes.
A dental sealant is a thin, protective coating that is applied to teeth that are susceptible to cavities. Because children are at a higher risk for cavities, a family dentist may recommend applying a sealant to the most susceptible teeth. These can include the back teeth. The sealant consists of a plastic coating that is painted over the teeth. This can prevent food and bacteria from getting caught between the teeth. These sealants are especially beneficial for the molars of children who are ages six through 14.
Visit a family dentist today
There are many ways that a family dentist can help you to prevent cavities. This includes getting dental sealants, fluoride treatments and regular cleanings. A family dentist can help you determine if these types of treatments are a good idea for you. For example, if you are at a higher risk of cavities, then your family dentist may recommend these treatments.
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