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Dec 7, 2016

Preventing cavities

An intact tooth is always best.

If a cavity of caries is small, it can usually heal by itself, provided the conditions are right. However, if it is more pronounced, it will need to be removed and replaced with some form of restoration. We believe that an intact, unfilled tooth is always the best. That is why prevention is very important.

Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste might be enough, but you cannot always reach food debris and bacteria between your teeth. Hence the importance of flossing.


Plaque is accumulated in the tight spaces between the teeth and along the gumline. Failure to floss between the teeth could potentially leave 25 percent of bacteria in your mouth.

Small initial caries can heal
During your SnöTM examination, we might find caries. However, if the caries is only limited to the enamel, the treatment is professional cleaning, proper instruction in diet and hygiene.

At your future examinations, we will monitor the caries and any possible progression. This initial stage of caries is regarded as a sign of unbalance in the mouth, and if the unbalance is not attended to, more caries might follow in the future.

To prevent caries, we recommend a fluoride treatment after each cleaning. The fluoride treatment is of special importance for our youngest patients to protect their beautiful, but slightly softer teeth.


Cross section of the back tooth (molar).

Caries as this, limited to the enamel can heal by professional cleaning and a change in diet, hygiene and fluoride treatment. If caries reaches the dentin, a restoration is needed.

High or low caries risk
We evaluate the caries risk as a part of our SnöTM examination and inform our patients about what they can do to reduce it since our vision is to do as little treatment as possible.

A common reason for high caries risk is eating several small meals (meaning almost any intake) during the day. It is important to remember that acid build-up starts every time you eat. If your mouth is not allowed to rest for a few hours between each intake (even the small ones), the caries risk will increase.

Another reason is dry mouth. As we get older, the saliva production decreases. Certain medications may also lower the saliva production as well as stress. Saliva protects the mouth and fights against bacteria. A reduction in saliva production may trigger an increase in caries risk.

The margins of old crowns and fillings will almost always harbor bacteria, which also increases the risk of developing caries.

Things to remember

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean the space between the teeth every day by either flossing or using toothpicks.
  • Rinse your mouth after meals with water. This reduces the acid attack. A sugar-free chewing gum might also help.
  • Refrain from snacking in-between meals. No matter how good you are at cleaning your teeth and mouth, eating small meals will increase your caries risk.
  • Fluoride treatment preferably as a mouth rinse. If you have an elevated risk we will also administer a local, topical fluoride treatment when you visit one of our clinics. Fluoride will be layered in the enamel, making it stronger.
  • Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly. Listen to their recommendations. They are trained to help you keep your teeth healthy.

  
The area between the gum and the tooth are extra important.

You only need to floss the teeth you would like to keep!

Dental Care (prophylaxis)
Cleaning
Preventing cavities
Mouth guard

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