Greetings Mansfield, TX! Welcome back to the dental health blog of Sanders Family Dental. Today, we want to take some time to tell you about Tooth Decay.

During a Dental Exam, you are likely to hear several phrases over and over again. Plaque, cavities and tartar are the many scourges of your mouth; they cause tooth-killing decay. If it’s not removed and treated, tooth decay can lead to costly, lengthy dental procedures.

But it’s not enough to know that these terms are bad things, it’s also important to understand the mechanics of how they work.

Understanding the Mechanics of Tooth Decay

Dental Plaque: Plaque is an acidic, film-like sheet of bacteria which builds-up on your teeth. Your teeth attract plaque-causing bacteria whenever you eat; the remains of food you eat and beverages you drink settle upon your teeth. These remains may be so small that you don’t even notice them, but even microscopic particles can attract bacteria.

Dental Cavities: Cavities, also known as Dental Caries, are the most common form of tooth decay. When the acidic slime of plaque settles on your teeth, it begins to slowly dissolve small holes into your teeth. Plaque first dissolves through your teeth’s enamel and then causes problems with the softer, more vulnerable material inside your tooth. Plaque forms naturally, and cannot be prevented. Therefor it’s of vital importance to reduce plaque in order to prevent cavities.

Dental Tartar: If left unchecked, plaque will eventually harden into tartar. You may have also heard tartar referred to as Dental Calculus. Tartar leaves a rough and hardened surface upon your teeth, which in turn attracts more bacteria and plaque. Tartar can cause cause bad breath and gum disease. Tartar cannot be removed with brushing and flossing; tartar is removed by dental instruments and ultrasonic tools.

Preventing Tooth Decay at Home

Brushing: Your toothbrush is your first line of defense against tooth decay. You should brush for two to three minutes at a time, at least twice a day. It’s better to brush after every meal, but the most important thing is that you spend an adequate time brushing. If necessary, you should set a timer to ensure you’re brushing for an adequate length of time. Your smartphone probably has a timer function.

Flossing: It’s a pretty simple truth to say that most people do not floss as much as they should. At minimum, you should be flossing before bed. Flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from in between your teeth; areas your toothbrush cannot reach on it’s own. Flossing helps prevent cavities and keep you smiling brightly.

Fluoride: Fluoride is an important in your arsenal against tooth decay. Fluoride helps to strengthen and reinforce the enamel of your teeth; this mechanism slows plaque’s dissolving powers, and slows the development of cavities. Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste. You can also find fluoride in most tap water, as public supplies of water are often enriched with the substance.

Getting Treatment at Our Office

Even with proper brushing and flossing, you cannot prevent all the development of all plaque and tartar. In addition, brushing and flossing alone cannot remove all plaque and tartar. Therefore the American Dental Association recommends visiting a dental office for teeth cleaning and a dental exam around every six months.

Teeth Cleaning: During a teeth cleaning, we will efficiently and painless remove deposits of plaque and tartar from your teeth. We accomplish this using special technology to reach all areas of your mouth. Teeth cleaning is a quick process that won’t take up too much of your time. We can even schedule one over your lunch break.

Dental Exam: During a Dental Exam, we will conduct a full range of x-rays to help detect problems in your teeth. We also screen our mouth for oral diseases such as gum disease and oral cancer, as well as jaw disorders such as TMJ disorder. Dental Exams are a vital part of Preventative Dentistry, as they keep simple cavities or other small problems from developing into bigger problems, like a dead tooth.

Make An Appointment

Click here to schedule an appointment with Sanders Family Dental in Mansfield, TX. We take tremendous measures to take care of your teeth and hope you’ll trust us to be your family dentist office.

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