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Tooth Decay
Dentist Stuart, FL

Row of five toy teeth, all smiling except for the middle tooth which frowns because of tooth decay. When it comes to the health of your smile, tooth decay poses a significant threat. It's a pervasive issue that, if left unchecked, can lead to pain, tooth loss, and a host of other oral health complications. Thankfully, with modern advancements in dentistry, there are plenty of effective solutions to prevent and treat tooth decay, from the use of dental sealants to the contemporary "teeth in a day" procedures.  We can help treat and prevent tooth decay here at Colin M. McKinney, DMD.

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a widespread health concern affecting many individuals. It's not just about cavities, pain, or discomfort – tooth decay has the potential to significantly impact your overall oral health and, in turn, your lifestyle. 

Tooth decay is a bacterial invasion of your teeth. It starts with harmful bacteria thriving on the sugars in your food and drinks, producing acids as a byproduct. These acids start eroding your tooth enamel – the hard outer layer of your teeth, thereby, causing decay. Over time, if not addressed promptly, it creates a cavity or hole in your tooth, leading to discomfort, pain, and in severe cases, tooth loss. 

How can I prevent tooth decay?

There are several ways you can protect yourself against developing tooth decay.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene

Among the most effective means of preventing tooth decay is adhering to a diligent oral hygiene regimen. This involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after meals and before bed, using approved fluoride toothpaste. It's also advisable for you to floss daily and rinse your mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash regularly. 


Yet, the strength of tooth enamel, that critical hard outer covering of your teeth, is significantly determined by your diet. Limiting consumption of high-sugar and starchy foods deprives the harmful bacteria in your mouth of the fuel they need to create cavities. Instead, a plentiful intake of foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D, both essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, can greatly bolster your resistance to tooth decay. 

Regular Dental Exams

Dental visits, an integral part of your oral health strategy, should occur at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and comprehensive dental examination. Our dentist will use these appointments to identify early signs of tooth decay that may not be visible to you, and administer treatments such as fluoride application which further armor your teeth against decay. 

Protection Against Tooth Decay

In addition to regular brushing and flossing at home, one of the most effective dental services we can provide for our patients to ward off tooth decay is regular dental cleanings.

Professional Dental Cleaning

When you come in to Colin M. McKinney, DMD for a dental exam and cleaning, one of our dental hygienists will initiate the process by using a small mirror to check around your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis or other potential concerns. 

If no major issues are detected, they will start with a process called scaling. During scaling, the dental hygienist uses a tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gumline. 

Following scaling, your teeth will be cleaned using a high-powered electric brush and a gritty toothpaste, to exfoliate your teeth. This brushing is typically followed by us flossing your teeth to reach deep between your teeth where the toothbrush bristles lack access. 

Next is a rinse to wash away any debris. The final step is a fluoride treatment, which acts as a protectant for your teeth to help fight against cavities. This is usually applied as a gel or varnish.

Having now a clearer view of what happens during a dental cleaning, one can appreciate that it is indeed a diligent process administered by professionals to maintain your oral health. This process reduces the risk of tooth decay, prevents the need for dental sealants in most cases, and ensures overall dental longevity.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants also play a critical role in warding off tooth decay. They act as a shield for your teeth. A thin, protective coating, typically made from plastic or other dental materials, is applied to the chewing surface of your molars and premolars. This barrier protects your teeth by sealing off grooves in your teeth that tend to house plaque and bacteria. 

Dental sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. This is especially crucial when considering that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "school-age children (ages six to 11) without sealants have almost three times more first molar cavities than those with sealants." While brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they can't get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth. This is where sealants come in.

What if You Have Suffered Tooth Loss from Tooth Decay?

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where tooth decay has caused tooth loss, please realize that it's not the end of the road. Modern dentistry offers various restorative options, one of which is Teeth in a Day.

Teeth In a Day

This innovative technique lets you reclaim your radiant smile, even in the wake of pronounced decay and subsequent tooth loss. A combination of meticulous examination, detailed planning, and precise execution make this rapid tooth replacement method a reality. 

Teeth in a Day enables you to achieve a brand-new smile in as little as one day. This process utilizes advanced dental technology and techniques to guide implant placement and crown fabrication. Teeth in a day procedure can be life-changing.

These immediate-load dental implants dramatically cut down treatment and recovery time for patients longing for a quick, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing solution to tooth loss. 

Teeth in a Day are highly convenient as the procedure is completed in a single day, eliminating the need for multiple surgical procedures. This procedure provides immediate results with natural-looking prosthetic teeth. 

Teeth in a day involves dental implants, which are posts made of titanium or other biocompatible materials. These are surgically fastened into your jawbone, where over time, they fuse with the bone to replicate the root structure of the missing tooth or teeth. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants provide a permanent solution by offering you replacement teeth with similar functions as your natural teeth. A set of prosthetic teeth is attached to these implants, giving you the advantage of attaining a full set of teeth in just one day. 

Comprehensive Dental Services for Continuous Oral Care

To ensure you get the best possible care for your teeth, consider utilizing comprehensive dental services at Colin M. McKinney, DMD that emphasize both preventative and restorative care. These services cater to all facets of your oral health, making it possible to diagnose any potential issues before they escalate into more serious conditions. With a team of dental professionals armed with advanced diagnostic and therapeutic tools, you can be confident in maintaining a healthy and attractive smile, free of decay. Contact us today by calling (772) 266-2223.

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Colin M. McKinney, DMD, 800 SE Osceola St., Suite A, Stuart, FL 34994-2447 / (772) 266-2223 / / 5/18/2024 / Related Terms: dentist Stuart FL /