The work you do at home taking care of your teeth is obviously vitally important in maintaining good oral health.
While dentists are able to monitor your teeth and gums, as well as give advice on how to improve your brushing techniques possibly even some simple dietary hints.
Regular visits to the dentist will help reduce the incidence of decay and will ensure a healthy mouth.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released a report in March 2019 stating that Australians aged 15 and older have an average of 12.8 missing, filled or decayed teeth.
The number of people that were hospitalized for dental conditions, that may have been avoided if they had been treated earlier, was 70, 200 in the years 2016-17.
As the second highest costing diet-related disease in Australia, tooth decay has an economic impact that is comparable to heart disease and diabetes.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is a destruction of the structure of the tooth that can affect both the enamel and the dentin layer of the tooth.
Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy, are left on the teeth.
Bacteria that live in the mouth break down these foods, turning them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food particles, and saliva combine to form plaque.
The acids in plaque dissolve the teeth enamel, creating holes in the teeth called cavities.
Causes of Tooth Decay
Poor oral hygiene
Skipping regular tooth brushing and flossing allows plaque to build up and damage the tooth surface.
Bacteria naturally lives in your mouth. This bacteria break down the carbohydrates on your teeth and in your mouth, forming an acid. These acids, over time, turn into plaque.
This plaque attaches to the teeth surface and builds up over time. The acid in plaque damages the enamel of your tooth and can cause cavities.
Saliva helps wash away plaque from the teeth and mouth. If you have a dry mouth with very little saliva, plaque build-up may start to take place quickly.
Foods and beverages
Starchy foods that tend to stick to your teeth can increase your risk of cavities, while constant snacking or sipping sugary drinks will create a continual bath of acid over your teeth. Good dietary and brushing habits are a must if you want to avoid decay.
Even after brushing your teeth it is possible for small food particles or sugars to remain on your teeth allowing bacteria to build up and plaque to form.
Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, especially 30 minutes after drinking milk or soft drinks, or after eating sugary and sticky treats. Don’t forget to floss!
Various medical conditions can contribute to a higher risk of cavities. For example, bulimia, heartburn or reflux can increases the risk of cavities.
These conditions can cause the acid from your stomach to flow back into your mouth, exposing your teeth to stomach acid.
Cancer treatments that expose the head and neck to radiation, can increase the chances of cavities by changing the makeup of the saliva, and promote increased bacterial growth.
There are also various medications that may decrease your overall saliva production resulting in a quicker build-up of plaque.
If you suffer from one of these medical problems, we would suggest that you ensure you visit your dentist regularly so that the condition of your teeth and supporting tissues can be closely monitored.
Tooth Decay Prevention
To prevent tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes, using a fluoride toothpaste. It is also advised to brush 30 minutes after each meal and especially before going to bed.
- Floss between your teeth daily with dental floss and/or interdental cleaners.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and limit snacking. Avoid sweet treats such as lollies, potato chips and chocolates, which can stay on the tooth surface for longer periods. For sticky foods, brush your teeth soon afterwards, or at least have a drink of water to help wash away the food.
- Fluoride helps to replace the minerals that are lost due to acid and bacteria
- Check with your North Lakes dentist about the use of supplemental fluoride that strengthens your teeth.
- Drink fluoridated water. You need at two liters of fluoridated water each day to protect your teeth from tooth decay and help maintain a healthy body.
- Ask your North Lakes dentist about dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars to keep them from decay.
- Visit your North Lakes dentist regularly for a professional cleanings and oral exam.
Tooth Decay Prevention at Passion Family Dental North Lakes
At Passion Family Dental North Lakes, we provide preventive plans against tooth decay and other dental issues.
We provide a wide array of effective dental services for patients who reside in North Lakes and surrounding areas.
Our Promotion for New Patients
Professional Check-up and Clean for only $178*
If you want to schedule an appointment with your North Lakes dentist, call us at (07) 3465 1199.
We are located at Unit 4/6 Endeavour Boulevard in North Lakes.