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What is Tooth Decay


Illustration of decay in the cusp of a tooth used by Portland pediatric dentist at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland.Your mouth is a hotbed for bacteria - millions and millions of bacteria reside in your mouth, all waiting for their chance to attack. Their target is your teeth, and their goal is to cause cavities. As the leading cause of tooth decay, bacteria are your mouth's worst enemy. Preventing tooth decay requires taking extremely good care of your mouth, making sure to not only keep them clean but also avoid things that can encourage the growth of these nasty germs. We here at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland strongly advise a good oral hygiene regimen to help combat these bacteria and, in turn, tooth decay.

Facts About Tooth Decay


Tooth decay is quite common, with many people struggling with cavities and unwanted tooth pain and discomfort. However, just because tooth decay is fairly common does not mean that it is not preventable. Having a healthy mouth can go a long way in preventing tooth decay from occurring in the first place.

Knowing how to prevent and treat tooth decay requires understanding what this condition truly is. It is also known as "dental carie" or, simply, "cavities." Cavities form when the bacteria in your mouth are allowed to sit close to your teeth for an extended amount of time. If you have ever noticed a disgusting, sticky white residue on your teeth, especially near the end of the day, then you have experienced "plaque."; Because plaque is so sticky, it keeps these bacteria close to your teeth, and if you do not take steps to remove it, they can release acids and toxins that can start to wear away at your dental enamel.

Tooth decay can form on any surface or part of your teeth. While many people tend to think of cavities as large, gaping black holes in the middle of their teeth, that is just one location it can occur. Tooth decay can also form between your teeth, in any of the pits or grooves in your molars, near your gums, and close to any dental work you may have had. Early signs that you may have tooth decay include sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages, a toothache, and pain or discomfort when you eat sweet foods. We can also help you diagnose your tooth decay during a dental exam with a visual inspection or X-rays. Please be aware that just because you are not experiencing any pain does not mean that you do not have tooth decay.

You can prevent tooth decay from happening by taking good care of your teeth. Eating a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin K, Vitamin D, and calcium) can help prevent tooth decay. Avoid consuming sugary foods and drinks, as they can encourage the growth of dental bacteria. Foods that are good for your teeth include broccoli, milk, cheese, and oranges. Brush your teeth twice per day, for two minutes each time, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride in it. Floss every night, working a clean segment of dental floss around each tooth and between the teeth and up under the gumline.

Another way to prevent tooth decay is by scheduling regular dental appointments, with a checkup and a cleaning, with us. If you have not seen us in longer than six months, please give us here at Great Grins for KIDS - Portland a call at (971) 470-0054 today!
My daughter was a little nervous to have her dental work done but everyone in the office was super friendly and very reassuring and that helped her nervousness go away. Thanks for the excellent dental experience. ~ Lilyana G.


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