The first step in addressing tooth decay is to restore the teeth that have cavities. The decay must be removed and the missing tooth structure is replaced with a dental restoration. Your dentist may also suggest placing dental sealants or small preventive fillings on teeth with high decay risk. There are also important things that you must do on your own to decrease your risk of tooth decay.
Here are some things that may be recommended for use at home:
- Special oral rinses that reduce the number of caries-causing bacteria in your mouth.
- Oral aids, such as special lollipops or chewing gum that increase salivary flow.
- Mineral applications of fluoride, calcium, and/or phosphate to your teeth to harden the enamel.
- Xylitol containing products to decrease mouth acidity.
- Customized home dental care instruction.
- Customized dietary counselling.
Discuss these options with your dentist and hygienist so that together you can make a plan that is right for you.