Some people seem to believe that only the rear teeth can decay – not true!
We are all familiar with those very visible dark fillings that we see at the rear of the mouth when other people laugh out loud.
Can you remember the last time that you saw those fillings on anyone’s front teeth though? Does that mean that they don’t exist or that fillings can’t be applied to the front teeth? Unfortunately, it does not.
The reality is that all teeth are covered in enamel but when this is damaged we can suffer from cavities, wherever the teeth are located in our mouth. So, why don’t we see many dark fillings on the front teeth? There could be a number of reasons.
The role of the front teeth
Although it doesn’t exclude the teeth from decay etc, the fact is that our front teeth come into less contact with the food that we eat than our rear teeth. Generally, we bite off the food with our front teeth and this then passes to the rear teeth where it is ground up before being swallowed. Both the grinding action and the length of time that the food comes into contact with the teeth means that these teeth are more likely to become damaged and covered in the sugars and food deposits that can lead to harm to our teeth.
This doesn’t mean that front teeth can’t decay though, and some of our habits, such as drinking high sugar drinks, can cause damage, often in the form of enamel erosion. This can be treated at the Confidental Clinic in Purley using a variety of techniques to restore your teeth to good health, should this happen.
Easier to clean
Another reason why the very front teeth probably don’t suffer decay to the same extent as the rear ones is that they are simply easier to keep clean. They are positioned at the front of the mouth where it is more straightforward for us to brush them. For those who use dental floss, it is also easier to floss between the front teeth than it is those towards the rear of the mouth.
Some studies have indicated that, younger people especially, spend more time cleaning their front teeth as they want them to look good when they smile, possibly exacerbated by the craze for taking ‘selfies’.
Whilst front teeth are filled less often than rear teeth, it is inevitable that some will become damaged in one way or another. The thing is that we may simply not notice the restorations that are used to restore them.
The most likely reason that we rarely see fillings in the front teeth is that those who require them, often opt to have white dental fillings that match their natural teeth and make the filling almost invisible. Where more extensive restorations are necessary, crowns may be used. Depending on the problem, other options are porcelain veneers and dental implants. All of these have one thing in common; they all blend in well with the natural teeth (or replace them altogether) and are certainly less visible than the amalgam filling option!
You should remember though, that front teeth CAN decay and you should look after them well in order to avoid the need for restorative treatment. As part of your overall oral health care, six monthly check ups at our Purley dental clinic are essential. You can book yours by calling the Confidental Clinic on 020 8660 8923 and our team will be on hand to welcome you.