Tooth decay (aka cavities or dental caries) is second only to the common cold as the most common disease for Americans. It typically is the consequence of folks not understanding the need for better education on prevention, which is clearly the less expensive and less involved solution.

Cavities result from not knowing how to thoroughly remove food particles after meals or snacks. Prevention means ideally spending the time after meals to brush all the surfaces of every tooth, cleaning the areas in between the teeth with either floss or waterpik, and visiting a dentist in San Francisco if further treatment is needed.

Dental caries also occur because of diets rich in simple carbohydrates, that is sugar, candy, and refined flour products such as pasta, cookies, and cereals. Those foods create an acid that eat away at the protective outer layer of enamel and even the softer dentin layer below that. With the decay growing, the inner pulp (innervations of the tooth) can eventually become affected and infected by the bacteria in decay, causing pain and often times killing the nerve of the tooth.

Having a semi-annual professional dental cleaning along with a dental exam can help to catch this process early on and prevent extensive damage. 

Now, if for whatever reason, you do end up with a cavity, Soothing Dental can provide the two best ways to remedy it. The most popular restorative material at this point is a composite filling (a form of polymer that is white), which is safer than the old mercury fillings and typically suitable for small to medium size cavities. This type of material wears down over time as you chew, especially if it is covering a large area. For those larger areas needing restoration, the better solution is to have a filling made of ceramic, which is as hard as enamel and can last much longer with proper care, making it more cost-effective in the long run. There are gold fillings (inlays/onlays/crowns) available as well which can be made available to anyone who is interested, although lately due to the cost of gold, it’s become less utilized.

Prevention is the key

That means you need to be more dedicated to prevention; making sure that every food particle is cleaned off thoroughly twice a day and not making excuses. It’s easy to skip this initially occasionally if you’re rushing to work or really tired at night; the excuses become more frequent with time though. By then, the bacteria can begin to form sticky plaque on teeth surfaces, and if not removed immediately, decay will form along with gum disease often times, which can lead to the loss of teeth & the supporting bone. 

An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to taking care of your oral health.

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