If we don’t brush and floss our teeth regularly, the bacteria in our mouth (dental plaque) converts sugars into acids which eat away at the surfaces of our teeth, weakening the enamel until holes and cavities form.
The Australian Dental Association reports that there are many ways to prevent tooth decay altogether, so we shouldn’t accept it as inevitable.
• Choose safer snacks such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, and cheese.
• Expose your teeth to less acid by using a straw when drinking sugary drinks.
• Chew sugar-free gum after meals to stimulate saliva- saliva neutralises acids, defending your teeth against decay!
• Drink fluoridated water- it helps maintain healthy saliva and helps strengthen tooth enamel.
• Eat food right in calcium like cheese, yoghurt, and milk- it’s an alkali, which neutralises acid.
• Eat many foods that are high in sugar, high in acidity, or sugary drinks.
• Consume foods with a sticky texture, like chocolate bars or chewy lollies- their sticky residue resists the normal cleansing action of saliva.
• Minimize snacking between meals so your saliva (and all that water your drinking) can have a chance to clean your mouth.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Try these good oral hygiene habits to prevent tooth decay:
• Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice every day with fluoride toothpaste.
• Floss every day to get the bits and pieces out from between the teeth that bacteria love to turn into acid.
• Visit your dentist regularly for a professional clean and general check-up- detecting tooth decay in its early stages makes treatment and management much simpler!
Wondering how your teeth are faring?