52563890 / Child © Oksun70 | Dreamstime.com
Dreamstime Xxl 52563890

Dental decay and conquering cavities: What your patients probably don't know

May 22, 2023
Your patients understand the concept of cavities, but probably not much beyond that—and there's a lot to know. Here, Barbara Tritz breaks down hard facts about soft teeth.

Back in 2014, I wrote a blog post for parents about conquering kids’ cavities. I wrote a companion to the post some years later when my oldest daughter became a mom and had some questions about decay. The hard facts about soft teeth aren’t easy for parents to hear, but it’s information they need from us just the same.

Everyone knows that sugar and plaque cause tooth decay, and most patients have gotten the “brush better” lecture—many times. These are important, but there’s so much more that we need to be sharing. For example, do you think most of your patients know that ...

  • Tooth decay is not benign. It infects other parts of the body.
  • Tooth decay bacteria are contagious, which makes tooth decay a family problem.
  • Tooth decay is not inevitable. It’s not just a foregone part of “growing older.”
  • Nutrition is a true key to controlling and preventing tooth decay.

Read my full blog post, "Tooth decay: Hard facts about soft teeth" to learn more

We need to go beyond just “brushing better” and instead, look for the causes of tooth decay. The cavity is just the end result. The more you know, the better you can help your patients stop decay before it starts.

More topics from my blog:

To avoid chronic disease, mind those microbes

Chocolate prevents cavities. Wait. What?

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH, is a biological dental hygienist and orofacial myofunctional therapist whose blog, Queen of Dental Hygiene, provides patients the information they need to help them on their healing journey. “Our one-hour appointment time was just not long enough to share all the many important facts I wanted our patients to learn. Dental hygiene is about so much more than just teaching brushing and flossing," says Barbara. “We are healers, educators, and lifesavers, and we need to give our patients the tools and skills to empower them to true wellness and health.”