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Everything you need to know about a cavity

What is a cavity?

Decay happens over time and the result is a cavity. Teeth are covered with a hard protective top layer called enamel. But once the enamel is weakened by acids produced by bacteria, a pit or cavity is formed in or on the tooth surface.

Do I have cavities?

Your dentist finds cavities during a regular dental checkup. They probe your teeth, looking for soft spots, or use X-rays to check between your teeth.

If you’ve had a cavity for a while, you might get a toothache, especially after you eat or drink something sweet, hot, or cold. Sometimes you can see pits or holes in your teeth.

How are they treated?

The most basic form of treatment for a cavity is a filling, which is when the decayed portion of the tooth is drilled away and replaced with a filling material.

How can I prevent cavities?

Preventing cavities is best accomplished by brushing and flossing regularly, maintaining a balanced diet and limiting the amount of sugar consumed. Flossing is critical to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. In addition, a dental check up every six months allows dentists to identify early signs of cavities and stop them.

Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.


Mouth guards and contact sports go hand in hand

Footy, rugby, netball etc are all contact sports and whilst you get your children’s kits and boots and headgear ready, remember to take the time to think about protection for their teeth. It is so important that team members wear a professionally made mouth guard to protect from possible injury. Most people are aware that inferior and somewhat cheaper “do it yourself” mouth guards are available to buy at sports shops and pharmacies but beware, when making one of these for yourself or your child you are also taking a risk of damaging your mouth without even having an accident as the mouth guards that are made by the dentist and a laboratory have been made through taking exact impressions of your teeth and the shape of your mouth. With the “do it yourself” ones you basically have one shot at molding it around your teeth.

   “But they are so expensive

This is another thing I hear and I have to disagree as having a mouth guard made professionally is much cheaper than having a full mouth reconstruction done because one wasn't worn!!!!

  “his teeth are moving and changing all the time.. It’s not worth it

Again this is another common misconception. Yes the growing mouth of a young person does change all the time but the dentist and laboratory take this into account and always allow for certain changes that they know will happen. This comes with knowledge and experience of being in the dental industry.

Another reason why professional mouth guards get over looked is that they get lost easily. With this in mind it is now possible to have the child’s name embedded into the guard before the material is set. Also they come in a case with the child’s name on.

Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.


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