Don’t you just hate cavities? They can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about cavities and fillings. From the causes to the different types of fillings available, and how to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent future cavities. Let’s dive in!
What Is A Cavity and Why Do I Get Cavities Even Though I Brush and Floss?
A cavity is a small hole that forms on the surface of your tooth. They are caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that can dissolve the enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. Over time, this can lead to a cavity.
Now, you might be thinking, “But I brush and floss my teeth every day. How can I still get cavities?” The truth is, even with good oral hygiene, it’s still possible to get cavities. Here are a few reasons why:
- You’re not brushing or flossing correctly: Brushing and flossing are important, but they need to be done correctly to be effective. Make sure you’re using the right technique and that you’re brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day.
- You’re not using fluoride: Fluoride is a mineral that helps to strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to acid. It can be found in toothpaste and mouthwash, but if you’re not using products with fluoride, you’re missing out on this important protection.
- You’re eating or drinking too many sugary or starchy foods: As we mentioned before, these types of foods can lead to the production of acid in plaque, which can lead to cavities. Try to limit your intake of sugary and starchy foods, and be sure to brush and floss your teeth after eating them.
- You have dry mouth: Saliva helps to neutralize acid and wash away food particles, so if you have dry mouth, you’re at a higher risk for cavities. Certain medications, health conditions, and even some medical treatments can cause dry mouth, so talk to your dentist if you’re experiencing this problem.
So, while it’s true that good oral hygiene can help prevent cavities, there are many other factors that can contribute to their formation. If you’re concerned about cavities, be sure to talk to your dentist. They can help you identify any potential risk factors and develop a plan to help keep your teeth healthy.
Do All Cavities Need Fillings?
Not all cavities need fillings. In fact, in some cases, a cavity can be reversed with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. However, if a cavity is left untreated, it will continue to grow and eventually will require a filling.
Your dentist will be able to determine whether or not a filling is necessary by performing a dental exam. They will look for signs of cavities, such as tooth sensitivity, discoloration, or visible holes. They may also use diagnostic tools such as x-rays to see if a cavity is present.
If a cavity is caught early, your dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment to help strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent the cavity from getting worse. They may also suggest changes to your oral hygiene routine or dietary habits.
However, if the cavity has progressed and has reached the dentin, a filling is needed. The filling will remove the decay and restore the tooth to its normal shape and function. There are different types of fillings available such as composite (tooth-colored) fillings, amalgam (silver) fillings, and gold fillings. Your dentist will recommend the best option for you based on the location and size of the cavity, and your personal preference.
It’s key to note that even if a cavity is filled, it’s still important to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy diet to prevent future cavities. Regular dental check-ups are also important to ensure that your fillings are functioning properly and to detect any new cavities early on.
In summary, not all cavities require fillings, but if a cavity is left untreated, it will continue to grow and will eventually require a filling. It’s important to see your dentist regularly and to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy diet to prevent cavities from forming.
What Is The Safest Dental Filling?
When it comes to dental fillings, safety is a top concern for many patients. There are a few different types of fillings available, each with their own set of benefits and risks.
Composite fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings, are made of a mixture of plastic and glass. They are a popular choice because they can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, making them virtually invisible. They are also considered safe for use in both primary and permanent teeth. Composite fillings are also preferred for small to medium cavities, especially in front teeth, as they offer a great cosmetic solution.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made of a mixture of metals including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They have been used for many years and are considered safe by many dental organizations. However, due to the presence of mercury, some patients and dental organizations have raised concerns about the safety of amalgam fillings. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children over 6 years old.
Gold fillings are also considered a safe option, they are durable and long-lasting, but they are more expensive and not as aesthetically pleasing as composite fillings.
It’s important to note that all types of fillings have their own set of benefits and risks, and the best option for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Your dentist will be able to help you make an informed decision about which type of filling is best for you.
In short, composite fillings are considered the safest option for fillings as they are made from a mixture of plastic and glass and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Amalgam fillings are also considered safe, but some concerns have been raised about the presence of mercury. Gold fillings are also safe, but they are more expensive and not as aesthetically pleasing. It’s important to discuss with your dentist the best option for you, based on the location and size of the cavity, your budget and your personal preference.
Cavities are a common dental problem that can affect anyone, regardless of how well you take care of your teeth. Understanding the causes of cavities and the different types of fillings available can help you make informed decisions about your oral health. We hope that this blog post has helped to demystify the topic of cavities and fillings and that you feel more informed and confident about your dental care.
If you suspect that you have a cavity, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic. Our team of experienced dentists will be happy to evaluate your teeth and help you determine the best course of action. We’re here to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong, so don’t be afraid to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.