FAQs

How is decay treated?

Once the structure of a tooth has been damaged by decay, there is no way to repair it. However, if decay is picked up at an early stage its progression can be blocked. Decayed material can be removed, and replaced with a restorative material generally a tooth coloured filling. If the decay is more extensive, then

How do you prevent decay?

The best way to keep your teeth in health condition is to ensure that you clean them regularly to get rid of any plaque build up. Most dentists recommend that you clean your teeth at least twice a day. Using a toothpaste containing fluoride is probably a good idea as this provides the teeth with

Is diet a factor?

Yes. Eating a diet rich in sugar and starch increases the risk of tooth decay, and sticky foods can be a particular problem because they are more likely to remain on the surface of the teeth. Frequent snacking also increases the amount of time that acids are in contact with the teeth. In the absence of good

What are the symptoms?

The most obvious sign of tooth decay is toothache, particularly after hot or cold foods or drinks. However, painmay not be present until decay has reached an advanced stage. Pits or holes may also be visible in the teeth. Most tooth decay is discovered at an early stage during a routine check up. A serious complication

Why are children’s baby teeth important?

Baby teeth are important for eating a good diet, jaw growth, appearance, speech and most importantly, to keep the spacing for their adult teeth. Baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth at certain times that are specific for your child. Baby teeth lost early because of tooth decay is, maybe a cause for crooked teeth

What causes tooth decay?

The problem is caused by sticky deposits called plaque that collect, in particular, around the gum line, the edges of fillings and the grooved surfaces of the teeth. Plaque is made up of food debris, saliva and the bacteria that are normally present in the mouth, and convert food into acids. If plaque is allowed

Why is sealing a tooth better than waiting for decay and filling the cavity?

Sealants help maintain sound, intact teeth. Decay destroys the structure of the tooth. Each time a tooth is filled or a filling is replaced, additional tooth structure is lost. Fillings last an average of 6 to 8 years before they need to be replaced. Appropriate use of sealants can save time, money and the discomfort

Do dental sealants replace fluoride?

No. Fluorides, such as those used in community water, toothpaste, gels, varnish, and mouthrinse also help to prevent decay. Fluoride works best on the smooth surfaces of teeth. The chewing surfaces on the back teeth, however, have tiny grooves where decay often begins. Sealants keep cavity-causing bacteria out of the grooves by covering them with

How long will sealants last?

One sealant application can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked regularly, and reapplied if they are no longer in place.