A person can have beautiful teeth and smile only when he or she maintains them. Unfortunately, teeth remain one of the most neglected areas of care among many people. Teeth serve a very important function of chewing food and breaking it down to smaller digestible pieces. It also helps in creating the shape and structure of the face. Teeth finally help in creating an aesthetic appearance of the person. Teeth therefore, carry out many vital functions. Teeth remain one of the most strongest structures of the body, which can survive for millions of years even after a person’s death. The structure is very strong and can take up loads excessing 100 pounds. Proper care can ensure their presence for an entire lifetime.
The only care that teeth need is proper brushing and flossing habits twice a day, with good eating habits. Teeth that are cleaned well and maintained with flossing of the gums rarely suffer from tooth decay. Tooth decay is the infection of the tooth and tooth structure that leads to the destruction of the hard part on the surface called the enamel. The enamel is the structure that gives the tooth the strength to tolerate heavy eating and mastication forces, and provides the white look to the teeth. However, this structure is the first structure to be affected by the bacterial attack. Sweet foods and acidic drinks provide the ideal environment for mouth bacteria to start destroying the layer of the teeth. These layers can cause an initial change in the color of the teeth, followed by pitting in the area due to loss of calcium from the tooth layers. This loss leads to further increase in the activity of the bacteria, which by this time start creating materials which change color. This causes the dark coloring of the tooth structure that is easily identified as a cavity.
The dentist usually removes this defected structure of the tooth and replaces it with a filling material of the same color as that of the tooth. This helps in restoring the normal contour of the tooth, but unless the factors that led to the decay are not eliminated, the same tooth or any other tooth stands the risk of getting infected again. Therefore, having a dental filling does not mean that the tooth is “cured” but rather, the defect created has been filled. Therefore, to prevent any further cavity formation, it is important to keep a healthy oral habit. Brushing, flossing and use mouth wash can help in reducing and preventing cavities considerably.