A young adult’s grandparents most likely remember a time when going to the dentist for a routine cleaning and a checkup often led to another appointment for filling cavities. In the 21st Century, a dentist in Keizer OR is much more focused on preventive care and avoiding the need for drilling away tooth decay and filling the space with metal or plastic.
Dentists strongly encourage their patients to come to the clinic for professional teeth cleaning and checkups twice each year. Hard tartar can be cleared away to prevent gum disease, and the dentist can spot signs of unhealthy activity that is harmful to teeth. Young adults who are still developing cavities may need to change their behavior in regard to how many sugary beverages they consume each week or each day, for example.
If cavities are developing between teeth, the patient may not be flossing regularly. Food particles left in the crevices eat away at teeth as they dissolve and release bacteria. This also irritates the gums and begins the initial stage of gum disease.
Monitoring Small Cavities
Many dentists used to fill very small cavities that most dentists now leave alone. Some cavities will never get any bigger. Others can actually refill on their own if the patient is diligent about oral hygiene. A tiny cavity in the enamel can take several years to reach the dentin underneath. That is the point at which the cavity should be filled, but before that, enamel often can be rebuilt with the application of a prescription-strength fluoride solution and regular brushing. These patients also must abstain from eating or drinking sugary substances between meals.
A Conservative Approach
The old theory was that decay spread rapidly, including to other teeth. That was why dentists felt compelled to drill away the smallest signs of decay and fill it. A dentist in Keizer OR today is very likely to take a much more conservative approach. The dental staff at a clinic like Riverfront Dental LLC and their patients essentially work together as a team. With the combined efforts, teeth and gums stay healthy and the need for more intensive oral health care is prevented.