Several things contribute to the cause of cavities: high levels of bad bacteria in the mouth, pH, genetics, diet, medications, acid-reflux, auto-immune conditions, oral hygiene, and salivary output, just to name a few.
Preventing cavities in the past often focused around brushing and flossing like crazy, using an over-the-counter fluoride rinse, and then crossing your fingers. It didn’t always work because as we have found, there is more to prevention than that. It can be a frustrating process for all involved.
Our doctors are constantly seeking out good continuing education classes that we think will benefit our patients and give us an edge with those cavity victims who are trickier to diagnose. In fact, my friends affectionately refer me to as “The CE Junkie.” One of the courses Dr. Bell and I attended spoke at great length about a product that may provide us that edge to help someone eliminate or at least decrease the occurrence of cavities. It’s called CariFree. (By the way, caries is a fancy term for cavities.) CariFree differs from any other preventative options because it actually utilizes saliva testing to determine how best to treat your particular oral situation. The idea is very similar to a medical model: test for a condition then treat it.
The test will tell you if you aren’t buffering well (your pH is out of whack), aren’t producing enough saliva (typical with those who are on medications and the elderly) or have a high level of bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities (the big bad culprit: Streptococcus Mutans). Based on the outcome, you are given a score of low, med, high or very high risk and prescribed a specific CariFree rinse and fluoride toothpaste to treat your particular issue.
I started using their products about three months ago and I’m very impressed. My pH tends to be out of whack and I’ve noticed it’s helped me get rid of that icky taste I sometimes get.
We have a dozen or so patients that have tried it as well and so far the responses have been good! You can check out their website www.carifree.com or call our office to find out more.
I’m pumped to offer it because I finally feel like dentistry has the ability not to just “drill and fill” as the old euphemism goes, but also to educate and prevent. Wish that rhymed better…