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What does it mean when your dentist says, “We’re gonna keep an eye on this”?

What does it mean when your dentist says, “We’re gonna keep an eye on this”?

If you’ve been told this, don’t stress! I’m going to give you 4 tips to help prevent this cavity from reaching the point of no return. 

What this means is that you have a cavity starting on your tooth… but if they just want to keep an eye on it, that probably means you don’t have to fill it quite yet. 

To give a better example of this, think of your tooth like a watermelon. As we all know, a watermelon has different layers to it - a hard outer layer and a soft middle. Your tooth is very similar!

When your dentist tells you, “We’re gonna watch this,” it means your cavity is forming on the hard layer of your tooth. The good news is, if your cavity is still located on this layer of your tooth, it can actually re-harden and you likely won’t have to fill it!

What happens, though, is if it moves into that softer layer and turns into something bigger we have to go in and fill them. Prevent your cavity from getting to this point with our 4 tips below.

  1. Professional Fluoride Treatment
    Have your dentist explain and go over problem areas with you and have your dental office do some sort of professional fluoride application. Fluoride is key in preventing the cavity that is forming from getting to the deeper/softer layer that will cause you to need dental work done.
  2. Prescription Toothpaste and Mouth Rinse
    Have your dentist look at prescribing you some sort of prescription toothpaste (like this one) that will have a higher concentration of fluoride. You can also use a good over-the-counter fluoride mouth rinse, I recommend this one to my patients, or a prescription mouth rinse--like this!
    (Note: None of the links above are affiliate/sponsored in any way. They’re just good products that I believe in!)
  3. Great Oral Hygiene
    I know this one sounds simple, but it really is one of the most important things you can do! You have to brush at least 2-3 times a day, make sure you’re flossing, (or start incorporating that into your routine 1-2 times a day) and make sure the products you’re using to clean your teeth have fluoride in them.
  4. Smart Diet
    Things with a lot of sugar in them (Ex: soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, or even snacks throughout your day) can increase the chances of you needing dental work done and give you a greater risk of cavities. Be sure to brush and floss frequently and be cautious of what you’re snacking on!

I hope these tips helped educate you and explained a little bit more about how you can decrease your risk of cavities and dental work!

Thanks for your support,

Dr. Houlik

 

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