Decay is caused by plaque and sugar. It is an incredibly simple process; dental plaque on the teeth takes the sugar from the mouth and converts it into acid. The acid then dissolves the nearest surface of the tooth. Even a small amount of sugar can cause this. Half a teaspoon of sugar in a cup of tea is as bad as three teaspoons.
Each and every intake of sugar will cause an 'acid attack' for about 20 minutes. Saliva fights against this process, but there is a limit to how successful it can be. Any more than 4 attacks a day and the decay process wins. Useful tips to prevent decay:
1) Reduce the number of acid attacks
The most important thing to do by far is to reduce the number of attacks. It is quite likely your meals will contain some sugar, so they count towards your tally of attacks.
- Eat all the smarties
in one sitting
- Replace sugar in drinks with sweeteners
- Choose sugar-free products
Please note 'reduced sugar' or 'no added sugar' may still have sugar in it.
2) Brush your teeth well
This will reduce your plaque and risk of decay. The reason why it is second on the list is that there will inevitably be some plaque left, so the only way of avoiding tooth decay is to have no sugar. Tooth brushing also plays an important role in preventing gum disease.
3) Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse
Fluoride is incorporated into the enamel and helps fight against acid. It also helps promote friendlier plaque bacteria.
4) Snack on sugar-free foods
Cheese is actually good and is known to help prevent decay. Savoury biscuits, nuts, raw vegetables, breadsticks and fruits in moderation are options. Click here to visit the British dental health website for more valuable information.