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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

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Understanding Tooth Decay

Plaque is a sticky coating of bacteria and other substances that forms on your teeth and gums. It can cause two serious problems: tooth decay and gum disease. These problems damage the teeth and gums, and may even lead to tooth loss. When the mouth is well cared for, tooth decay and gum disease can be reversed in their early stages. Better yet, you can prevent these problems from starting by brushing and flossing daily.

Once tooth decay eats through the enamel, it spreads quickly through the softer dentin.

After tooth decay is removed, the hole is filled with a hard material.

How Tooth Decay Develops

Tooth decay happens when acid eats away at a tooth. Cavities (also called caries) are holes that form in the teeth. They are most common in places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. This includes the grooves at the tops of the teeth, and on the sides where the teeth touch. In late stages, tooth decay can be painful. It can also lead to tooth loss.

Treating Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can be treated to keep it from moving farther into the tooth. This is often done by filling cavities. First, any tooth decay is removed. This protects the tooth from further damage. Then, the cavity is filled with a hard material. This filling protects the damaged tooth and restores the tooth surface. If the tooth is severely damaged by decay, other treatments are available.

Follow-up Visits

Visit your dental team at least every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning. If you're being treated for tooth decay or gum disease, you may need more frequent visits. These visits will likely decrease as your mouth care efforts start to pay off. Keep flossing and brushing, and follow any special instructions your dentist or dental hygienist gives you. And enjoy flashing your healthy smile!

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When you need exceptional teeth straightening you can trust, call Beacon Orthodontic Associates at 617.738.4746 (GRIN) . For your convenience, use our online Request an Appointment form to reserve your dental braces consultation or if you have questions about the cost of braces for children or adult braces. We serve the communities of Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Newton, West Roxbury, and all of the greater Boston Area. Contact us if you’re searching for an “orthodontist near me.”

Our Services

Early Interceptive

Early interceptive orthodontic care is actually preventive care. Our intention is to prevent crooked teeth and a bad bite from developing.

Teen Orthodontics

Orthodontic teeth straightening technology has improved dramatically in recent years and you don’t have to wear unattractive metal braces in order to straighten your smile.

Adult Orthodontics

Even if you are in your 50s, 60s or older, it’s not too late to straighten your teeth and give yourself the smile you’ve always dreamed about.

Damon®Smile

In many cases, Damon®Smile braces reduce both total treatment time and the number of adjustments and office visits needed.

Invisalign/Invisalign Teen

Invisalign uses clear aligners that fit snugly over teeth and slowly move the teeth into their correct positions, just like braces.