Tooth Decay Prevention

Tooth decay, also known as caries, is a common dental disease that is preventable.

Decay is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that coats the teeth and gums. When plaque bacteria mix with the food we eat it produces an acid which, if left on our teeth, can eat into the enamel, causing tooth decay.

Brushing and flossing or using a Pikster regularly as well as making healthy food and drink choices (with less sugar) will minimise the risk of tooth decay.

Clean Teeth

It’s a fact that clean teeth are less likely to decay:

  • brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after breakfast and before bed)
  • use a thorough brushing technique (ask your dentist to show you how)
  • floss or use a Pikster to clean between teeth

Tooth Decay Prevention Young children do not have the fine motor skills to effectively brush all areas of their teeth making regular dental appointments for a check-up and clean even more important.

Healthy teeth food and drinks

The simple message for healthy teeth is to have less sugary food and drink.

A person who eats lollies or sips on soft drink on a daily basis is going to produce more damage to their teeth than someone who eats 3 lollies in ½ hour once per week or drinks a cup or two of soft drink in ½ hour once per week.

Following a healthy diet is never easy, especially when there are so many treats and temptations available. However the secret to avoiding tooth decay is to limit your intake of sugary or acidic foods.

Tips for Healthy Teeth

Here are some simple guide lines to follow:

  • Minimise the duration of time that sugars are allowed to remain in your mouth. Brush and floss or use a Pikster. If this is not possible, rinse with water soon after consuming sugary foods, eat cheese or chew on sugar free gum to help neutralise or remove the acids.
  • Don’t snack on or sip on sugary foods or beverages over an extended period each day.
  • Arrange dental checks and cleans every 6 months. Don’t wait for pain to occur before you visit the dentist. If you have pain or sensitivity it means the decay is deep enough to agitate the nerve. This indicates that what may have been a simple treatment is now more likely to be a complex and more expensive treatment. Six monthly cleans with our Oral Health Therapist to remove calculus (tartar) from above and below the gum is an essential preventative measure. If tartar is left on the tooth for a long period of time it causes plaque build-up and eventual bone and tooth loss.
  • A regular dental examination will help us identify areas that you may not be brushing properly. With our help you can break old habits and create effective brushing techniques.
  • If you experience any pain or discomfort between your regular appointments please contact us straight away. Addressing concerns early could avoid costly and complex treatment.
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