Rare is the person who goes through life without a single cavity. (If you know any people this fortunate, we would love to meet them!) Of course, a cavity means a filling, and a filling means—you guessed it—a drill. Or maybe not. Today, we can use air abrasion to remove decay and portions of tooth structure to prepare your tooth for a filling. A cavity is the result of tooth decay, and tooth decay is caused by bacteria that live naturally in our mouths. If not removed with regular brushing and flossing, then bacteria can multiply. As they feed off of the sugars in many foods, they produce acids that erode tooth enamel. After a certain amount of erosion, a hole develops in your tooth and that’s a cavity. Before the cavity can be filled, we need to remove the decayed material that has accumulated, as well as some of your natural tooth structure in order to make room for the filling. Traditionally, this removal was performed by a small drill. You may be familiar with this device and the high-pitched noise and vibration it generates. Not exactly a favorite of our patients. Air abrasion, on the other hand, removes debris and tooth structure with minuscule bits if aluminum oxide or silica that are forcefully directed at your tooth. Imagine a small sandblaster, if you will. Similarly, air abrasion removes decayed material.
In a bid to combat increasing rates of dental disease and childhood obesity, proponents of the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks have been given the go-ahead to start collecting signatures that would enable the measure to be added to the election ballot in 2020.
If the measure is added to the ballot, and it is subsequently enacted into law, it is estimated the tax may raise $USD 2-3 billion that would fund a range of public health programs centred on prevention and treatment of medical and dental problems.
The California Dental Association has backed the measure with its President, practising dentist said Natasha Lee, saying: "For too long, California has lacked adequate support for programs that address the health effects of consumption of sugary beverages. With this initiative, our state has the opportunity to improve public health, especially among children."