Dental Hygiene/Cavity protection and filling
Ok so last week I went to the dentist to get 2 fillings, one on a lower molar near the gum line, and one on the bottom of a molar on the top. I noticed a dark spot about the size of the tip of a pen on the side of the same upper molar he filled the bottom of. The dentist didnt pay it any attention so I assumed it was just a discolouration. I am now sure it's a cavity as it has translucent white around it. The only problem is I am on the other side of the world for the next 30 days.
So my questions are:
1. Should I try to get this looked into over here or can it wait until I'm home? If it can wait how should I stop the cavity from growing?
2. Will having 2 fillings in the same tooth cause it to be significantly weaker? I ask because I'm a 20 year old male with a bad bite and I need orthodontics soon to correct it And I'm worried about having 2 fillings in a molar will cause problems with moving the tooth.
Also, is it normal for someone my age to have cavities like this? I don't have a bad dental hygiene. I mean sometimes I might brush for a bit less than 2 minutes, i use mouthwash, and compared to some of my friends who have never had cavities my hygiene is good. Could it have something to do with the fact that I've already had braces for 4.5 years?
Anyway now I've started brushing my teeth really well and flossing and using mouthwash so hopefully the decay will stop.
Hi Shane, I'll try to answer your questions in the order that you asked.
I don't think there is any rush to get to the dentist, according to your description. I'm not certain about the dark spot, but the the white area around it sounds like the first sign of early decay. You can slow it down or even perhaps stop and reverse it by using fluoridated tooth paste on it several times a day. This should be applied right after you eat or snack. Just clean the area with the brush as you apply the fluoride with the tooth brush.
And yes, orthodontic banding is definitely associated with a higher risk of getting cavities. But it sounds like your hygiene habits are really good and should protect you. I suggest you get Water PiK irrigation device. It will let you clean those braces easier and more thoroughly than just brushing and flossing.. But remember the important thing is that you re protecting your teeth with a fluoride treatment each time you brush.
Orthodontists now have available "glass Ionomer" cements with which to attach your braces. This type of cement will constantly exude fluoride and help protect the teeth from decay caused by braces. You should ask your orthodontist about this. Perhaps it is routine for them to use that now.
I'm confident that what you are doing will help keep you cavity free from now on. You seem conscientious.
Larry Burnett DDS