Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay is a disease that occurs as a result of bacteria on your teeth reacting with sugars and forming acids that wear away at a tooth. This breakdown of the tooth can form a cavity and cause nerve damage to your teeth. Avoiding this decay requires that you follow a good dental hygiene regimen; you should brush and floss every day, go to your dentist at least twice a year, receive fluoride treatments, and have a balanced diet. Practicing these healthy habits regularly can help you avoid tooth decay and costly dental treatment.


Your back teeth have grooves and depressions in them that form on the chewing surface. These areas can be nearly impossible to clean of food particles and bacteria. Failure to clean these teeth properly can lead to plaque and tartar buildup and cavities.

Tooth sealants can help protect these areas of your teeth by sealing those grooves and depressions. In order to prevent the bacteria and food from settling into those areas, the sealant resin is applied to your back teeth. These sealants typically last for several years. If you have questions about sealants, please feel free to ask us today.


Fluoride can help strengthen your teeth and make them resistant to tooth decay. In order to protect your teeth as much as you can, you should drink water that is treated with fluoride. If you have questions about the amount of fluoride in your water, you can ask your dentist to evaluate the fluoride level of your primary water source. If necessary, the dentist can also recommend fluoride supplements.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural habit that helps to relax and comfort babies and toddlers. Usually, children will stop thumb sucking on their own between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Children who continue to suck beyond age 4 are at risk of dental and speech problems. If your children continue sucking beyond age 4, or are sucking vigorously, you should talk to the dentist.

Here are some steps that you take to help your child outgrow thumb sucking:

  • Praise your child for not sucking his or her thumb rather than scolding them when they do.
  • Try to eliminate the cause of the thumb sucking. Thumb sucking is a comfort device, so find and eliminate the anxiety.
  • Place a glove, bandage, or sock over their thumb or hand at night
  • Set clear rules about thumb sucking and provide distractions and incentives to help stop the action.

If you have questions about thumb sucking, feel free to contact our office for additional information. To learn more about preventive care in Ashburn, Virginia, we welcome you to call or visit us at Ashburn General Dentistry today. Dr. Amit B. Patel and his friendly team look forward to speaking with you!