Atlanta-based dentist Dr. Frank Roach has been a leader in the field both for his state-of-the-art offerings and his dedicated patient care, developing a reputation for excellence among his peers. Below, he discusses how tooth decay happens and what anyone can do to prevent it
Dr. Frank Roach has delivered unparalleled dentistry to patients in the Atlanta area for decades where he’s implemented sophisticated technology and procedures to exceed expectations. In his offices, patients know they will receive only the best care around including cleanings, fillings, imaging, dental implants, surgical procedures and more.
He shares with his patients the best ways to care for their teeth in between visits to avoid tooth decay, as he’s noticed many don’t do anything more than brush once a day.
“Cavities are the result of tooth decay that typically happens slowly over time, but many of my patients don’t understand that they’re not only avoidable, but reversible with proper care,” says Dr. Frank Roach. “By brushing more, by cutting out or limiting certain foods and drinks, and by implementing elements like fluoride, patients can repair their teeth and protect them against decay in the future.”
The human mouth is naturally full of hundreds of different types of bacteria that gather on places like our teeth, gums, and tongue. Certain bacteria are helpful and can help us break down food more easily. However, much of the bacteria in our mouths are harmful and can expedite tooth decay. Some bacteria use sugars from food to produce a type of acid that slowly erodes the enamel that protects our teeth, resulting in cavities and decay with time.
“If you eat foods high in acid, such as citrus fruit, or if you eat fatty foods containing sugar and starches, you are basically fueling the bacteria to erode your teeth,” says Dr. Frank Roach. “Over time, bacteria in our mouths strip away protective coatings and cause teeth to lose minerals, often seen in white spots that can’t be brushed away.”
Dr. Roach says even at this point, though, decay can be stopped or even reversed with proper care. Enamel can naturally repair itself by using minerals from saliva, but people can use toothpaste with fluoride to help it out. Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing which is found in many tooth cleaning products as well as in certain purified waters.
Other than avoiding acidic and sugary foods, Dr. Frank Roach advises each patient to brush at least twice a day, if not after every meal they eat. Additionally, he recommends every patient come in for a cleaning once or twice a year to remove surface plaque that’s hard to reach by brushing alone and to receive a professional evaluation from a dentist.