Early Detection

Early detection means finding tooth decay before it causes serious problems.

What Can I Do to Help Detect Cavities Early?

The early detection and treatment of tooth decay is only possible with regular dental inspection. Dental professionals have tools in their offices that can help repair the very early stages of decay and can keep a small spot from becoming a cavity.

Adults and children alike should visit a dentist regularly for professional examinations and cleanings. In addition, regular brushing and flossing at home are essential to preventing tooth decay.

Why is Early Detection of Cavities Important?

Prevention and early detection are the key to avoiding tooth decay and gum disease. Having a dental checkup twice a year can help your dentist or dental hygienist find early signs of tooth decay and other problems before they become severe. If you have serious dental problems, your dentist may suggest more frequent visits.

Can Dentists Predict who is Likely to Get Tooth Decay?

There are models designed to help dentists predict and prevent tooth decay. By looking at a variety of factors such as your age, your community water, the foods you eat, and the current health of your teeth and mouth, dentists and public health officials can predict whether or not you and your family are at high risk of developing tooth decay. Depending on the level of risk, your dentist will recommend a course of action designed to help keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

For young children, one of the best ways to predict how healthy their teeth are going to be is whether or not they brush regularly. Studies have shown that children 1-3 years old who brush at least once a day with a fluoride toothpaste are less likely to develop cavities than children who don’t brush. Systemic fluoridation, including water, salt, milk and other routes, is also recognized around the world as a very effective way to prevent decay in children.

For older children and adults, having cavities already makes it more likely that you’re going to develop more cavities in the future.

Glossary