Tooth Decay Prevention Tips | Coogee Plaza Dental

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Tooth Decay Prevention Tips

24/07/2019

Healthy Mouth = healthy life

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in both children and adults.

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria’s in our mouth use sugars from food and drinks to produce acids which attach tooth enamel (the hard outer layer of your teeth). Tooth decay can cause pain, infection and tooth loss which can have a lasting impact on your oral health and quality of life.

Tooth decay is largely preventable by following 4 easy steps.

  1. Brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day.
  • Brush every surface of each tooth all the way to the gums.
  • After brushing, spit out the excess paste but do not rinse the mouth. If you prefer to rinse, reapply a small amount of fresh toothpaste to the teeth so that benefit of fluoride remains.
  • Children (18months to 6 years) should brush with pea-sized amount of low fluoride children’s toothpaste.
  • To prevent bad breath, brush your tongue from back to front.
  • Delay brushing for at least 30 minutes after acid exposure to give your mouth time to produce saliva to neutralize the acidity.
  1. Flossing daily

Your teeth have 5 sides, brushing only cleans three of them, flossing cleans the other two. Flossing every day is important for good oral hygiene. It is the most effective way to remove plaque from hard to reach places.

  1. Making good choices by limiting sugar consumed in foods and drinks.

Each time we eat and drink, we are exposed to sugars. The bacteria in our mouths (plaque) feed on this sugar to produce acid. The acid dissolves minerals within teeth causing holes or cavities – this is known as tooth decay.

Most people think that sweets and sugary drinks are the only food to blame for tooth decay. They are the main culprits, but bacteria can use any food that contains sugars and carbohydrates – foods like pasta, fruit, potato chips and snack bars. It’s not practical to cut out these foods completely but if you consume them in moderation and avoid ‘grazing’ between meals, it gives your teeth a much better chance of staying healthy.

  • Avoid snack foods that are sticky, gummy, chewy or sweet.
  • Have a diet high in fresh vegetables, wholegrain cereals, lean meats and dairy products.
  • Use a straw and avoid swishing drinks around your mouth to minimise acid exposure to your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating a meal or snack, to stimulate saliva which neutralises acids that cause decay.
  • Drink water after every meal to help wash away lingering food.

 

  1. Visiting the dentist for a check-up typically every 6 to 12 months.

It is important to visit your dentist regularly so that tooth decay can be identified early making management and treatment much simpler.

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