How To Never Need A Filling Again!
They are painless, simple procedures that don’t necessarily leave your mouth full of metal, but here at Whitehorse Dental, we would still rather you didn’t need a filling. Fillings mean dental problems that require treatment. If these dental problems are left unattended, it can result in a world of pain.
We would rather you come in for your twice-yearly checkup and say, “I’m feeling fabulous!” We want to look in your mouth to see great teeth and gums. We’d rather you have a healthy smile that doesn’t need treating and not see you for another six months.
Just because you have had a filling before doesn’t mean that is the end of things. By changing your habits and taking care of your teeth, you can make it more likely never to need a filling again.
Ways To Avoid Needing A Filling
The most important thing you can do to avoid needing a filling is to keep good habits for oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth, using interdental cleaners, eating well, and visiting your dentist regularly, it is possible to avoid needing a filling, even when your teeth were previously heading that way.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brush your teeth twice a day (once in the morning and again before bed). Manual and electric toothbrushes both have their benefits. Use a toothpaste that includes fluoride to help fight tooth decay.
Despite what many people think, brushing your teeth immediately after a meal is often a bad idea. Acids from your meal soften the enamel of your teeth, and brushing straight after may actually be causing damage. Rinse out your mouth instead, and use floss if any large pieces of food are caught between your teeth.
The most important thing you can do to prevent the need for fillings is to clean in between your teeth. This is because most of the disease-causing bacteria on the teeth usually grow between the teeth. Harmful plaque which gets between your teeth or under your gums is more challenging to remove, and tooth brushing alone will not get there. Cleaning between your teeth requires extra attention.
Flossing can work if you are using the correct technique. However, because of how difficult this is, Whitehorse Dental prefers interdental brushes. We do not recommend Waterpiks or air flossers, as they do not do a good enough job at removing plaque from under the gums.
Talk to us at your next checkup if you have questions about interdental cleaning and want to make sure you are doing it correctly.
Having a healthy diet low in sugar will do a lot of good for your teeth. Cheese, fish and high-fibre vegetables are also great. Drink water and if you are having soft drinks, use a straw.
The most important thing you can do to prevent the need for fillings is to limit the number of times you eat so that the teeth have a clear break in between meal times where there is no food going in there.
When we eat food, whether it’s a small grape or an entire meal with steak and potatoes, the environment in our mouth becomes acidic. It is in an acid environment that dental decay can happen. After eating, it takes about 20-30 minutes for the acidic environment to return to a neutral environment. That means for people who are constantly snacking throughout the day, their teeth are constantly exposed to an acidic environment. This makes their teeth much more prone to developing cavities or problems with existing fillings.
Whitehorse Dental recommends eating no more than 4 or 5 times a day. This will ensure the teeth (and body) get a break from food, resulting in fewer dental problems and fewer fillings!
Visiting The Dentist
Whether it is from laziness, bad past experiences or general anxiety, very few of us visit the dentist as often as we should. Everyone should visit the dentist at least twice a year, simply for check-ups and cleaning. If you avoid having these regular visits, you are more likely to need fillings and may eventually need more serious procedures such as root canal treatments or tooth extractions.
What Can We Do As Your Dentist?
Here at Whitehorse Dental, coming to see us means we can help you avoid fillings. We believe in the concept of “preventative dentistry”. By visiting us when you don’t have problems, you can avoid ever having them – avoid the pain, avoid the unhealthy smile, avoid those extra procedures that no one wants you to have. When you come for your twice-yearly check-up, we ensure you prevent fillings by doing the following things.
No matter how flexible you are or how good your mirrors are, you can’t inspect your teeth properly. Dentists can look at your teeth from all angles and have the education and experience required to discover the minor details ordinary people won’t notice. Early signs of tooth decay can be deceptive, and we can tell if you are struggling with cleaning particular teeth.
Inspection can also include having an X-Ray of your teeth, which illuminates signs of tooth decay in between the teeth and other issues that the naked eye could not see.
Perhaps the most important role we play to help you avoid fillings is in helping you look after your teeth when you leave. We can help make sure you brush and floss your teeth properly, choose the correct toothpaste, and point out areas where you might not be cleaning as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Professional Cleaning and Scaling
Tartar, the result of plaque that hasn’t been removed by regular effective brushing, is too hard to be removed at home. If tartar isn’t removed, it increases tooth decay in the area and will inevitably cause cavities.
There is only one way to remove tartar – having a professional clean. While this process used to mean firm brushes and devices that would scrape off the tartar, modern dental practices now use air polishing and ultrasonic scalers. These new innovations have been found to be more effective and less painful than traditional techniques.
Whitehorse Dental uses the Swiss-made AIRFLOW EMS, which is ideal for patients with sensitive teeth, implants or braces. Our patients often note that their professional clean is more comfortable and leaves them with a brighter smile.
What Should I Do If I Get a Cavity?
If you have tooth pain, bleeding gums, or bad breath, you may have a cavity. It is essential to book an appointment as soon as possible for us to find out the condition of your teeth and see if they require treatment.
Other common signs of tooth decay include swollen gums, brown, black or white stains on your teeth, and sensitivity to cold or hot drinks.
No one wants to have a filling, and we certainly want to avoid having to give you one. By preventing the tooth decay that leads to cavities, you can also avoid needing a filling. Book an appointment for a check-up and clean at Whitehorse Dental today, and we can offer more advice on how to avoid fillings in the future.