Tooth decay is a common problem across the globe. In fact, tooth decay is the top reason people visit dentists each year. With that being said, many people wonder whether or not tooth decay can be reversed once the process has begun. Well, the answer is not as cut and dry as most would hope. In some cases, tooth decay can be reversed, but in the vast majority of cases, the best action is preventive measures to slow or stop the process of tooth decay.
Flouride has some efficacy in helping to actually reverse early tooth decay. Flouride, a mineral, can prevent mineral loss, and help to fortify the enamel on the tooth. While it cannot really reverse advanced tooth decay, many experts agree that fluoride treatments can help prevent further damage, and, in mild cases, prevent tooth decay that has already begun.
Before starting fluoride treatments, or using a mouthwash rich in fluoride you should speak to your dentist about the health of your teeth. Some individuals will find that fluoride actually stains the teeth and does not help prevent tooth decay. Your dentist will be able to tell you, after an exam, if fluoride is a good measure for your unique case. Many individuals already have enough fluoride in their systems, and adding a rinse will not benefit, and, in some cases, can actually harm the health of the teeth.
Most dental experts agree that while tooth decay can’t be reversed on a large scale, the best way to help tooth decay is to prevent it from starting in the first place. This can begin in the early years of tooth development, but preventative measure can be begun at any age, and at any time with beneficial results.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush regularly and to visit your dentist on a yearly or twice yearly basis. Regular brushing is the easiest way to prevent tooth decay and to help reduce mild tooth decay. To brush properly, an individual should be brushing for a minimum of two minutes two to three times a day. Most doctors agree that teeth should be brushed in the evening before bed. This helps to remove any bacteria and food that have been acquired during the day. Teeth should also be brushed in the morning, after breakfast. This will wash away bacteria that has bred in the mouth during the sleeping process, and it will remove food that accumulates on the teeth during the breakfast meal. All teeth should be brushed and the front and back of the teeth should get the greatest focus.
Flossing is also necessary to prevent tooth decay. Flossing should be done regularly, and should move around the entirety of the tooth, with the expressed goal of dislodging any plaque or food particles that have clung to the small gaps between the teeth and the gum line.
A dental exam on a yearly basis will prevent tooth decay from going too far, and the deep cleaning that is administered at a dentist’s office will remove plaque that cannot be removed with simple brushing techniques.
The Bottom Line
Overall, most experts agree that tooth decay can not be reversed without the help of a dental professional. As a patient, you, however, can help your teeth remain healthy and strong by practicing good oral hygiene and regularly seeing your dental professional.
Need help from a dentist? Speak to regularlink.com member Preet K. Sahota, D.D.S.