Q1. Who is at risk for dental caries?
Children, adults and teens are all at risk for developing dental caries. However, people who have a family history of dental cavities, eat foods high in sugar, snack frequently, have fractured or cracked teeth, suffer from xerostomia or dry mouth, and have undergone head or neck radiation therapy are at an increased risk.
Q2. Is flossing essential?
Yes, flossing is essential. Flossing is a useful method for getting rid of food particles and bacteria that a toothbrush cannot get to or reach.
Q3. How often should I visit my dentist?
Most dentists recommend that patients visit for regular check-ups and professional cleaning every six months. Some dental clinics may, however, only schedule annual appointments. For patients with ongoing dental problems, more frequent visits to the dentist may be advised.
Q4. Why are regular dental check-ups necessary?
Regular dental check-ups are necessary for early dental caries detection and treatment of dental problems. Most people pay a visit to the dentist only when they have a problem and sometimes, not before the problem has reached an advanced stage. When this happens, restoration and treatment of the tooth may become both difficult and expensive.
Q5. Why is smoking harmful to the teeth?
Smoking is harmful as it contains chemicals that can affect the salivary flow in the mouth. Without enough saliva, it becomes easier for oral bacteria to stick to the gums and teeth. It can also cause bad breath and yellowish stains on the surface of the teeth.
Q6. What are some natural ways to prevent dental caries?
Natural treatment for dental cavities includes oil pulling, chewing on sugar-free gum, taking vitamin D supplements, avoiding foods that are high in phytic acid or using clove oil or liquorice root.
Q7. Do cavities or tooth decay in babies need to be treated?
Yes, baby tooth decay requires treatment. When tooth decay in babies is not treated, it can affect their overall development.
Q8. How are front teeth cavities in toddlers treated?
Treatment of front teeth cavities in toddlers may include removing the decayed part of the teeth and replacing it with restoration materials or fillings. Veneers, inlays, crowns and bridges may also be placed in some cases if the tooth is weak and can fracture under pressure. A pediatric dentist will decide the appropriate course of treatment after considering factors such as the child’s overall health, age, and symptoms.
Treating dental caries through procedures such as fillings, crowns restorations, or root canal therapy is painful and fairly expensive. In India, the cost of treating tooth decay with a filling can range from Rs. 500-1500 per tooth, while a root canal treatment can range from approximately Rs. 1500-12,000.
Most of these therapeutic interventions are also only meant to ease the dental problem and will not replace the lost enamel or restore the original tooth. Preventive care is, therefore, safer and much more effective.
Regular dental screenings, proper brushing and flossing and a well-balanced diet are some simple ways to dramatically lower the risk of dental caries and tooth decay.