Dental caries

Dental caries (tooth decay) is caused by a number of contributing factors. The decay process begins with bacteria metabolizing starches and sugars, resulting in acid production. The acid dissolves the minerals on the outer surface of the tooth, resulting in dental caries (cavity). Fluoride enhances the remineralization process and makes the tooth more resistant to these acids. Below are the risk factors and recommendations for preventing caries. 

Risk Factors 

  • High starch and sugar intake (frequent snacking, junk food, candy, etc.). 
  • Drinking beverages which are high in sugar or acid (fruit juices, soda, sports drinks, etc.). 
  • Drinking bottled water (non-fluoridated). 
  • Decreased saliva flow (often a result of medication). 

To decrease the acid producing bacteria and increase tooth remineralization, we recommend the following regimen: 

  • Brush with Fluoridex (1.1% sodium fluoride toothpaste) twice daily. Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes following brushing with Fluoridex. 
  • Floss, after brushing, at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. 
  • Rinse with 10 ml. of Peridex (0.12% Chlorohexidine gluconate) for 1 minute daily for the first week of each month prior to bedtime. 
  • There are various methods of fluoride treatments available. These applications should be performed 4 times a year by an hygienist. 

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