Depending on the severity of a cavity, effective treatment can range from simple (a dental filling procedure) to extensive (root canal treatment), and sometimes extreme (tooth extraction). Luckily, cavities are preventable as well as highly treatable, and determining your risk factors for tooth decay can better prepare you to protect your teeth. Daily hygiene, namely brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, helps control the oral bacteria responsible, and Rochester family dentist, Dr. Calcagno, offers a bit of advice for reducing your family’s risk of cavities away from the sink.
Risk Factors for Cavity Development
The more often you snack, the more often you feed oral bacteria, and the more likely you are to develop cavities. Tooth decay forms in the midst of tooth enamel-eroding acids, which occur naturally in some foods and are also produced by oral bacteria after consuming sugar and carbohydrates. Frequent snacking increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to organic acids. To reduce this risk, healthy snacks, such as cheese and vegetables, can strengthen enamel with healthy minerals and fortify it against erosion.
Fluoride helps protect teeth by binding to and strengthening the layer of enamel surrounding them. When acid weakens enamel, it also depletes teeth of minerals that enamel needs to regain strength. Fluoride is found in many popular toothpaste and mouthwash products, and for added protection, Dr. Calcagno may recommend fluoride treatments at our Rochester office.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing is a staple of good hygiene, but not many people realize that they may be damaging their teeth by not brushing and flossing correctly. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush the surfaces of every tooth. If you scrub too harshly, you may risk peeling away protective enamel and exposing the sensitive tooth structure underneath to infectious oral bacteria.
About Dr. Calcagno:
Although cavities are overwhelmingly common, they’re not insurmountable or inevitable. With expert care and a wealth of experience treating the smiles of our patients and their families, your Rochester dentist can help protect or restore your family’s smiles from the destruction of untreated tooth decay. Dr. Gilly Calcagno is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Minnesota Dental Association, and is active in local dental implant study clubs. To schedule a consultation, call Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659.