Tooth decay happens due to SUGAR, the sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth and is converted into acid. The acid attacks the tooth surface and goes deeper into your tooth causing decay.
What can you do to try and reduce the risk of tooth decay? Reduce the sugar! Which foods contains sugar? Almost everything we eat! The aim is to reduce how many times a day you expose your teeth to sugar, the maximum times you should be exposing your teeth to sugar is FOUR times per day. This includes your mealtimes which will most likely contain some form of sugar within your food. This is your 3 meals that you would have per day and 1 additional exposure to sugar at another time- that should be the maximum.
Which foods contain the harmful sugars? Sweets, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, ketchup, ice cream, most cereals, cereal bars, ice lollies, dried fruits, flavoured yoghurts, sweet pastries, any additional sugar in tea & coffee is an extra exposure to your teeth as well as fruit juices, fizzy drinks and so much more…. Watch out for the ready meals and ready sauces you might buy. It is always best to read the label so you are aware of the sugar content!
The next step is keeping up with excellent oral hygiene- this means brushing and cleaning your teeth very well at home. Brushing before bedtime and at another time in the day- at least 2 times per day for 2 minutes each time you brush. Your dentist will recommend a suitable toothbrush for you if you are not sure which one is best for you! Ensure you are using a toothpaste containing fluoride- spit out after brushing and not to rinse with any water. Ensure you are cleaning well in between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach- your dentist may recommend interdental brushes, floss or both!
It is very important that you do your best at looking after your teeth at home to prevent the need for dental treatment. Seeing your dentist and having regular hygiene visits is also important in preventing tooth decay, this is so that you can be given tailored advice to help you to improve your diet and cleaning. Happy cleaning and remember less sugar equals stronger teeth- we know you can do it!