For decay to be present there are three factors that must all be present 

  1. Plaque: This the sticky film, which constantly forms on the teeth. It houses the bacteria, which can cause decay or gum disease.
  2. Bacteria: Lives in the plaque and uses sugars that we eat to produce an acid and it is the acid, which removes the minerals from the enamel causing decay.
  3. Sugar: Contained in the foods that we eat, foods that are particularly sticky and are retained on the tooth surface are the most dangerous of all, as it is constant contact with the tooth.

By thorough and regular tooth brushing, flossing and monitoring of the diet you can prevent decay from occurring.

Every time we eat, the bacteria in the plaque will increase the acidity in and around the teeth. The acid removes the minerals (calcium) from the enamel and over a long period of time causes decay.

Prevention Against Decay

Decreasing the sugary or acidic snacks, or the amount of times that we eat them throughout the day, possibly grouping the times that we want to eat sweets close to major meal times. Avoid grazing – this eating pattern does not allow enough time for teeth to recover from an acid attack.

  • Choosing healthy alternatives to snacks such as popcorn, fruit and water.Avoid soft drinks, as they are both very sweet and acidic. Even though ‘diet’ soft drinks are considered to be ‘tooth friendly’ they are also very high in acid. Sports drinks are very high in sugar as a main source of energy, however this will also result in the demineralisation of the enamel.  The best alternative is WATER.
  • Using a fluoridated toothpaste. We may recommend an extra fluoride supplement to assist in strengthening your enamel.
  • Chewing sugar free gum to increase saliva. Saliva helps neutralise the acid. Smoking, recreational drugs, prescribed medications may reduce the saliva that your saliva glands produce. Saliva is a natural protectant and disinfectant for you teeth. If your saliva glands are not producing sufficient saliva this will adversely effect your teeth.
  • Using a remineralising product that contains Recaldent, eg tooth mousse or Recaldent chewing gum – to bring calcium back into the tooth surface.
  • Ensuring regular preventive care appointments, and through proper tooth and gum care at home.

We are only given one set of permanent (adult) teeth – through prevention we can protect and keep them for the rest of your life....don’t make dentures part of your life.

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