Dental Fillings 101: What Are They & Why Do We Need Them?

It pays to stay healthy. After all, a healthy lifestyle is scientifically proven to extend your lifespan. We’re on Earth for such a short time that it makes sense that you’d want to stay healthy and stick around to see all that life has to offer.

Furthermore, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other awful diseases. As long as you eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get annual checkups at the doctor, you are doing the right thing by your body.

Dental health is another aspect of your personal wellbeing that you need to be proactive about. If not, you could risk dental fillings. But what if you’re not quite sure what a dental filling is? Well, worry not, because, in this informative article, we’ll explore dental fillings 101. You’ll learn what they are and why you might need them. We’ll also share some tips to avoid them and how to care for them if you happen to get some. Read on to discover more.

Dental Fillings – What Are They? 

A dental filling is a dental procedure whereby the dentist will fill a hole (also called a cavity) in your tooth. Fillings are often required due to tooth decay or if a tooth has suffered trauma such as a crack or chip. Your teeth can also become damaged due to an accident or other unfortunate event.

The dentist will discover if a tooth requires filling by inspecting your mouth with specialised tools or via X-ray imaging.

Various types of materials are used as dental fillings, such as amalgam, composite resin, glass-ionomer cement, or even gold and porcelain. The filling material used will depend on your dentists’ preference as well as yours and your available budget. For instance, gold fillings are obviously more expensive.

Your dentist may also install what is known as a temporary filling. In certain situations, this is the best approach. For instance, your dentist may need to work further on a tooth in a follow-up appointment, so a temporary filling is used in this case. A temporary filling may also be prudent during a root canal procedure split over multiple appointments.

Why Would You Need Dental Fillings?

A dental filling is the most effective treatment for tooth decay. Tooth decay is a normal part of life and is caused by plaque (bacteria) buildup on your teeth over time. A filling preserves the tooth by filling the cavity and will prolong the life of your tooth. An average person can expect to get a number of fillings over their lifetime.

However, with advancements in dental care technology and oral hygiene products over the years, adults today are more likely to retain their complete set of teeth.

If you are a certain age, you can probably remember when most of the older people in your life had fake teeth or dentures. This is because in decades past, tooth decay was a lot more common, and many people lost all their adult teeth and needed artificial replacements.

How To Prevent Fillings

The most effective way to prevent fillings is by practising excellent oral hygiene. This means that you should brush at least twice a day. Some people up this to three times a day – once after each meal.

In addition to regular brushing, you should also floss and use mouthwash. Flossing is excellent for oral health, because it will dislodge food particles that would otherwise cause bacteria to thrive between your teeth. Mouthwash also works to clean your teeth and prevent bad breath.

Furthermore, you should visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and clean. At this appointment, your dentist can inspect your teeth for decay and also give your teeth a thorough deep clean, which should work to prevent decay and the need for fillings.

How To Care For Fillings

If you do have fillings, it is not the end of the world. As mentioned above, it’s actually part of everyday life to get a few fillings. However, they can deteriorate if you don’t take the proper steps in caring for them.

You can care for your fillings and help prevent more by following the simple advice outlined above.

If you grind your teeth at night, you can get a particular appliance – a mouthguard that will stop you from grinding. This is a great option, as grinding your teeth can wear them down as well as affect the integrity of your fillings.

A Dental Care Conclusion

In this helpful article, we’ve explored dental fillings 101. You’ve learned what a dental filling is and why you might need one. Remember, it is the treatment for tooth decay or damage. You’ve also learned how to prevent fillings – excellent oral hygiene is the best method. Furthermore, we’ve shared how to care for existing fillings. By now, you’re an expert on all things fillings.

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