In this post from Advanced Dentistry of Charlotte we discuss tooth decay, also known as cavities.
Your mouth has a thriving community of bacteria. There are from 200-300 types. But relatively few cause tooth decay.
Bacteria that cause cavities are in the mutans streptococcus family. The bacteria mix with sugar. This mixture creates a powerful acid. The acid reduces the calcium in tooth enamel. When the bacteria stays on teeth, it creates a yellowish substance called plaque. Plaque is brutally effective at drilling into tooth enamel and causing cavities. Minerals in saliva and fluoride help enamel re-mineralize.
Special Caution for Parents
The tooth decay bacteria can spread through saliva. People in close contact with one another are at risk. Sharing spoons or kissing are two avenues. Mothers, fathers, siblings, and caregivers can the bacteria to babies.
Young children whose teeth are forming are at a heightened risk of decay. It’s important that parents protect their children from early tooth decay. Start teaching daily oral hygiene as soon as your child’s first tooth breaks through. Childhood tooth decay is so prevalent that some parents believe it’s just part of growing up. But it doesn’t have to be!
Daily oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and fluoride protect young teeth. You and your youngster can get fluoride from toothpaste, fluoridated water, fluoride rinses, fluoride gels, and fluoride supplements.
Fluoride does three essential things:
- It replaces minerals
- It prevents further mineral loss
- It diminishes acid-causing bacteria
At Advanced Dentistry of Charlotte, the dental health of each patient is always our primary concern. Our services include general dentistry, and specialties like dental implants. Call us to schedule a checkup today!
Contact Advanced Dentistry of Charlotte – Dr. Christopher A. Bowman:
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