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Sometimes the best questions come from our youngest patients! This was one that we heard last week from an inquisitive five-year old after having a discussion with him about why brushing his teeth is important and what happens when we don’t take care of our teeth like we should.

swiss cheese cube

Teeth are the hardest substance in the body, and they have to be that way in order for us to chew our food. But they can be softened by long-term acid exposure in the mouth, and when that happens, a cavity is formed. The cavity is not only the hole, but also the swiss-cheese softness of the weakened tooth around the hole. All of this soft tooth has to be removed and a box is built into the remaining healthy tooth. This box is what will allow the hole to be filled with a tooth-colored material called a composite, or what we think of as a filling. Because the hole is box-shaped it will then be able to withstand the very strong forces of chewing. The composite is put in place as a sort of gel which is quickly cured into a solid with an intense white/blue light. Composite fillings can last many years and help rebuild tooth structure that has been softened by decay.

Dr. Rossen is proud to say that some of his five-year-old patients are actually the children of some of the first kids he ever saw when they themselves were five years old! Not only that, we’ve even seen four generations of a single family in our practice at times, and this is what truly makes us our office a place for family dental care.