Tooth Decay Prevention


 General Dental Treatment in Spring Lake & Muskegon

At the office Joe D. Arbutante, DDS, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive, high quality dental care in a friendly, welcoming office environment. Dr. Arbutante and our expert team of dental specialists treat every patient on an individual basis, designing personalized treatment plans that take a holistic approach to maintaining a beautiful, long-lasting smile. One of the most important aspects of oral health is preventing tooth decay - and it's easier than you might think.

A Common Dental Problem

Tooth Decay.

Tooth decay is extremely common, and may actually be the second most prevalent human disease - second only to the common cold - and is estimated to affect more than 25% of children aged 2-5 and over 50% of those aged 12-15. Left untreated, it can lead not only to pain and discomfort, but also to the structural breakdown of teeth, which often necessitates tooth extraction. Thankfully, plenty can be done to stop tooth decay. 

Ultimately, there is no "magic bullet" for tooth decay. Fighting it is a process, and includes a number of techniques for preventative care and maintenance. A diligent routine of daily brushing and flossing, regular dental cleanings, and a balanced, healthy diet can help ensure that your teeth stay healthy and strong for the rest of your life.

At the end of the day, every patient is different, and your dental needs will be different than the next person's. When you visit our office, we'll work with you to assess your dental health and make specific recommendations for keeping your teeth healthy. But how does decay happen in the first place?

The Beginnings of Dental Decay

 Tooth Caries Balance.

While your mouth may seem simple enough, the reality is that it's a dynamically balanced ecosystem with millions of microorganisms living there - some helpful, some harmful. The problems starts when this careful balance is disrupted, and the harmful bacteria in your mouth break down sugars and carbohydrates in food to produce acids. If left untreated for long enough, these bacteria can harden into plaque that slowly strips teeth of enamel, eventually causing cavities, or even worse conditions like root canals.

Thankfully, there's plenty we can do to counteract this. A regular habit of brushing and flossing breaks up bacteria and dislodges food particles from your mouth, helping to keep the acid content at bay. Avoiding acidic or high-sugar foods and drinks also helps to minimize damage. Finally, regular tooth cleanings at our office are essential - we'll use specialized instruments and techniques to eradicate plaque and give your teeth a thorough deep cleaning. Sometimes, though, even all these steps aren't enough to prevent decay.

Additional Steps to Prevent Tooth Decay

Sometimes specialized brushing techniques are required to minimize decay, and we may also recommend purpose-built products like special toothpastes or mouth rinses to help fight bacteria. In some cases, we may even recommend in-office treatments like fluoride applications as well.

In some cases, even this isn't enough - but thankfully, there's a solution. Dental sealants are an innovative new treatment that apply a thin, virtually invisible layer of plastic resin to the back molars - the teeth most susceptible to decay - to protect teeth from bacteria. Generally administered to children, it's a simple, painless procedure that protects the vulnerable chewing surfaces of teeth, helping to keep your child's teeth healthy and free from decay for years to come. 

Dental Sealants.

So, don't think that tooth decay is inevitable — instead, come in and ask us what we can do together to help prevent this disease from affecting you or your loved ones.

 Contact Your Muskegon & Spring Lake, MI Family Dentist 

Have more questions about keeping your or your child's teeth safe from decay, or want to come in for a cleaning? We'd love to help. Feel free to call us at 616-842-0090, reach out to us at our contact page, or use our easy online form to schedule an appointment at our Spring Lake, MI office. We can't wait to hear from you, and we're excited to help you or your child maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for the rest of your lives!

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