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Tooth Decay

There are 3 things that must be present at the same time in order to get decay:

- Obviously, without teeth, you cannot get a cavity. Teeth have pits and fissures that trap food and germs. Teeth also can dissolve in the presence of acids, which is what bacteria produce when they rest on teeth. To protect teeth, we apply SEALANTS which fill grooves, pits and crevices to keep food and bacteria out. We also apply FLUORIDE to harden the enamel so that acids cannot penetrate as quickly.

2- BACTERIA - Teeth can only decay in the presence of bacteria. Of course, we cannot live in a germ free world under normal circumstances, but we can keep the bacteria count reduced to a level where there are not sufficient numbers to do damage. To accomplish this, we need to BRUSH and FLOSS to remove plaque, or bacterial colonies.

- We all need food to survive, but certain foods are more damaging than others. STARCHES and SUGARS are attacked by bacteria in your mouth and in only 20 seconds, acids are already dissolving your teeth. Depending upon the nature of the food, the dissolving may continue for up to 90 minutes.The stickier the food, the longer it stays on the teeth, and the more damage it does. The more frequently one snacks, the more dissolving of teeth occurs.

It is not as important how much sweets you eat as it is how often! If your child must snack, make sure it is cheese, carrots, celery, or some other healthy food. The best beverage is plain water. Save the treats for dessert with meals. ***One other thing, when we are not eating, the saliva in your mouth, which contains minerals, actually rehardens enamel. The more time resting between snacks, the more repair of enamel that occurs.

Pediatric Dentistry Indiana Dentist.

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