Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth using the sugar that we eat to rot our teeth.

We cannot get rid of all the bacteria or all of the sugar in our diets, so we prevent decay by a combination of:

  • Fluoride to harden the tooth surface against decay
  • Cleaning to reduce the tooth rotting bacteria
  • Avoiding sugar between meals

Brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm fluoride is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay.

It is the combination of the brushing to remove the bacterial plaque and the fluoride to harden the tooth enamel that is so effective.

Spit out and do not rinse after brushing to keep the fluoride around your teeth.
The best time to clean your teeth is before bed and at one other time during the day

Avoiding snacks and drinks containing sugar between meals is very important as the bacteria that cause tooth decay need frequent supplies of sugar to rot your teeth.

Foods that stick around the teeth or last for a long time are the worst offenders

For example: biscuits and sucking type sweets such as mints and toffees.

Water, milk, or tea and coffee without sugar are the best drinks to have between meals.

Cleaning your teeth immediately after you have eaten can do more harm than good.  It is best to wait 20 minutes for the saliva to do its job before you brush!