Free Online Dental Cavities Risk Quiz

teeth cleaning toronto dentist

What are dental caries?

Dental caries, also known as cavities, are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well.

Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.

If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to a severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.

To find out if you are at risk of tooth decay, try our free online dental caries risk quiz below!

Table of Contents

Try our free online dental cavities quiz

How did you score?

  • Score 0-6 – HIGH caries risk
  • Score 7-11 – MODERATE caries risk
  • Score 12 and above – LOW caries risk

*This free online dental caries risk assessment quiz is based on the California Dental Association’s Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) designed for patients aged 6 years and older. This caries risk assessment tool is meant to give you an idea of your level of dental caries risk, and by no means substitute for an oral exam by a dental professional. Please consult your dental professional for a more complete examination.

If you have a moderate or high risk of dental cavities, there are a number of things you can do to improve your oral health and reduce your risk of future cavities.

10 things you can do to reduce your risk of cavities

  1. Brush regularly with fluoridated toothpaste, ideally after every meal. For more information on how you can improve, read 9 Tips to Brushing Your Teeth Better.
  2. If you cannot brush your teeth right away after a meal, rinse your mouth.
  3. Make it a habit to floss after every time you brush. For more information on how you can improve, read 6 Helpful Tips to Floss Your Teeth Better.
  4. Reduce or eliminate your consumption of sugary foods and drinks.
  5. Eliminate the habit of snacking and frequent sipping of sugary drinks.
  6. Choose healthier foods and drinks that are not only good for your teeth, but also for your overall health. For more information on how you can improve, read 8 Foods and Drinks That Are Bad For Your Teeth.
  7. If your city or township water is fluoridated, drink tap water to benefit from the healthy effects of fluoride.
  8. Consider getting dental sealants to eliminate pits and fissures on the top surfaces of your teeth that can cause cavities.
  9. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate production of saliva if you have dry mouth.
  10. Visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups. If it has been a while since you last visited a dentist, contact us at Atlas Dental in Toronto for a New Patient Exam and Dental Cleaning.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Tooth Filling?

A tooth filling is the dentist’s primary method of repairing damaged teeth. After the dentist cleans away any decay from a tooth, they fill the space with a new material. Common tooth filling materials include dental composite, amalgam, and resin-modified glass ionomer.

Why does my tooth need a filling?

The most common reason for dental fillings is that the tooth has decay that must be cleaned out.

There are other reasons why teeth may require fillings, such as repairing broken fillings, replacing fractured teeth, abfraction lesions or cosmetically improving the look of teeth.

Watch for the different signs and symptoms that could indicate you need a tooth filling:

  • Dark spots on teeth or greyness under old fillings
  • A hole that you can see, feel, or food gets stuck in
  • When floss tears at a certain spot
  • A rough, chipped or broken tooth
  • A broken, loose or lost filling
  • Tooth sensitivity or pain

What is the tooth filling procedure?

The tooth filling procedure is not too complicated. It is often done in a single appointment.

Most dental fillings will require local anaesthesia (freezing) to numb the area for patient comfort. The dentist will always first apply numbing jelly to the gum ensure patient comfort before the local anaesthesia.

If a visit to the dentist causes you anxiety, have a honest talk with the dentist and they would be able to offer you ways to manage the fear, either procedurally or with pharmacological methods (a sedative pill or nitrous oxide laughing gas).

Next, dentist removes the decay and places the filling. This requires good isolation from moisture so that the dental “glue” adheres well. Finally, the tooth is finished and polished by the dentist to obtain a beautiful contour and shine.

If the cavity is deep, there is always a chance that tooth sensitivity can happen or a root canal treatment is needed. Your dentist will advise you of this risk.

Your dentist may decide to divide the number of dental fillings over several appointments for your comfort.

What tooth filling material is best?

Tooth fillings come in a variety of materials and each dentist has their favourite kinds. The most popular types in our dental office are dental composite, resin-modified glass ionomer, and dental amalgam. Your dentist may select a filling material based on its properties and the unique situation in your mouth.

  • Dental composite, also known as white fillings, plastic fillings or composite resin fillings, are a mixture of microscopic glass-like particles trapped in a plastic-like matrix. It is white in color, strong and is the dentist’s perennial favourite to use in most tooth filling situations that require strength and high aesthetics.
  • Resin modified glass ionomer (RMGI) is a hybrid of glass ionomers and composite resin, and thus contain acid-base and polymerizable components. It is white in color and is often used in low-stress areas of the tooth and in areas where there is a high chance of future cavities. RMGI releases fluoride, which will strengthen teeth and prevent dental decay.
  • Dental amalgam, or silver filling, is a historical material that sometimes sees use in a dental office. It is a metal alloy that is very strong, deters future tooth decay (because bacteria do not like growing in the presence of amalgam) and is silver in color.

In the past, there have also been concerns that dental amalgam is unhealthy because it contains mercury, but the evidence shows that the amount of mercury that gets released from amalgam fillings is negligible and is therefore safe. Amalgam fillings are best suited in the back teeth so that the metal color does not show.

Dental filling materials are safe to use. Which tooth filling material is best for you will depend on a number of factors. Talk to your dentist.

Will tooth fillings cause pain?

During the tooth filling procedure, you will be given local anaesthesia so you will not feel any pain.

If the filling is deep, the nerve inside the tooth may become irritated. The tooth sensitivity can be temporary and may go away with time. If tooth pain is severe, it may indicate that you need root canal treatment. Your dentist will advise you of this risk.

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