Tooth Decay – Why You Need Preventative Dentistry to Save Money
Tooth decay is not going away, but because prevention is always better than cure, what can we do to keep it in check? Oral hygiene is a more vital part of our health than we realize and should be a non-negotiable part of our every day lives.
Let’s focus on a few top tips and get a grip on the oral health of ourselves and our families with the goal of preventing tooth decay in 2020. After all, we ought to do all we can to avoid the pain and infection of tooth decay in ourselves and our loved ones.
“What is absolutely clear from our trial is that the best way to manage tooth decay is not by drilling it out… it’s by preventing it in the first place,” advises Professor Nicola Innes, Chair of Paediatric Dentistry at the University of Dundee. Besides, just think of the time and money savings.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
We need to get this matter straight in our own heads. Particularly, foods that contain sugars and starch – cereals, bread, milk, icecreams, sweetened yoghurt, cake, candy, tinned or bottled produce and all fast foods, left on the teeth are a recipe for decay. Yes, you read correctly – the good stuff, as well as the obvious, are players in the tooth decay scenario!
What has to happen is that the bacteria in our oral cavity digest whatever we put between our teeth and turn them into acids, which in turn lead to tooth decay. Guess what that plaque on the edges of our teeth is made of? Bacteria, food debris, acids, and saliva are the mix that becomes plaque. Ever wondered how medical examiners know whether the dead person they’re working on was a ‘flosser’? The absence of plaque is the ‘tell’.
There are some 300 different species, which total a billion or more at any given time of the day. Infection with certain types of oral bacteria that need sugar to make acid results in tooth decay and that infection is orally communicable. Kisses on the cheek are seriously way safer!
Steps to Prevent Tooth Decay
This is the part where your dentist becomes your best friend instead of someone you avoid until there is a crisis.”The good news,” according to Professor Gail Douglas, Chair of Dental Public Health at the University of Leeds, “is that tooth decay can be prevented. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, especially last thing before bedtime, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks between meals and seeing a dentist regularly are all small habits that can help boost the overall health of your teeth.”
Your part in preventative tooth decay tactics:
- Always, always, always brush for 2 minutes twice a day and floss without fail, especially if you are aware that you have ‘food traps’ in your mouth.
- Invest in a good fluoride mouthwash.
- Avoid snacking since even fruit will leave sugars for bad bacteria to get hold of.
- A great tooth decay reducing habit is to eat desserts or sweet things at mealtimes when they are accompanied by the fully switched-on digestive processes and do the least amount of damage.
- Drink lots of water to wash away the acid buildup. Avoid fizzy drinks, sports drinks, and concentrated fruit juices, which just provide the sugar for bacteria.
- Eat healthy food – junk foods are only bad for your waistline, they’re hell for your oral health.
- Chewing sugar-free gum or better still, Gum containing Xylitol encourages a better saliva flow that washes the mouth clean constantly. This habit can reduce tooth decay by up to 40%. Chewing for 20 minutes after meals works well – especially if you can’t for some reason get to brushing soon after meals.
- When you do brush, remember to do your tongue as well.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months – set yourself a Google reminder.
- Smile, you’re saving time and money being smart about reducing tooth decay!
Practitioner’s part in preventative tooth decay manoeuvres:
- Your practitioner can assess your individual cavity risk. That will dictate how often you need dental checkups and checkups are a breeze compared to treatments due to neglect.
- Providing your medical history and what medication you’re taking will also assist your dentist to work preventatively with the possible effects to your teeth.
- Schedule regular time with an oral hygienist to help you get rid of tartar and plaque that may still build up – especially behind the front bottom teeth where saliva producing glands lie.
Look at how little we leave for the dentist when we practice good oral hygiene. Think of the money-saving every time you brush and floss.
Here at Shine Dental, we’d rather you take these preventative measures to heart and see you a little less often. However, remember that our oral hygienists are ready and willing to give you a regular once-over to make sure that your teeth remain a shinning asset in your beautiful faces.
Is your check-up due? Call us now on (01420) 550616 and book your appointment.