Many a game is won by good defense. This holds true for the fight against tooth decay (dental caries) as well. I have written about the offense (targeting the bacteria through brushing and flossing, removing all existing decay that acts as a refuge for the bacteria, killing the bacteria with fluoride varnish and xylitol sweetened gum and candy). Today let's talk about defense. Like any good team, we need to balance offensive and defensive strategy.
When I talk about defense I mean actually creating teeth and an oral environment that are hostile to the bacterial invasion. Three of the six steps in our caries management program are defensive in nature.
Teeth on steroids
I bet cavities ran from this saber-tooth tiger! (I know I would.) How would you like to have teeth that scare off those nasty bacteria? Together we can make that happen!
Cavities often start on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The pits and grooves on these teeth are so narrow that the bacteria can hide in the bottom while your toothbrush simply goes over the top of the groove never reaching them. That is not your fault! The groove is narrower than any toothbrush bristle ever conceived. So what can we do about that? Sealants! Sealants fill in those pits and grooves so the bacteria can't get in there and hide. Teeth that are sealed are far less likely to get a cavity in those pits and grooves than unsealed teeth.
Setting up a good defense
But not all cavities start in the pits and grooves. So what can we do about that? Two steps in the caries management program help with this. First of all, fluoride varnish changes the surface of the tooth making it harder and more resistant to the acidic attack that starts the caries process. Secondly, we can change your oral environment from an acidic environment that the bacteria love to a more basic environment that the bacteria hate.
If you would like more information, please watch this video.
Think differently about cavities
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And here's To Your Health!