Decay (caries) is the most common problem in the teeth. It is an infectious disease whereby the acids produced by bacteria dissolve the teeth. Caries can be prevented and controlled with good oral hygiene.
Tips to prevent tooth decay:
- Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day with toothpaste containing fluoride. Fluoride inhibits demineralization, promotes remineralization and increases the hardness of tooth enamel, making it less soluble in acids.
- Use a dental floss or tape.
- Visit the dentist regularly for a scale and polish as well as an examination of the teeth.
- Follow a balanced diet. Carbohydrates, especially sugars eliminate acids and cause a rapid decrease in the normal pH from which the process of demineralization of dental enamel begins.
- Try to avoid sweets, cookies, soft drinks and other sugary drinks for special occasions.
- Do not eat or drink continuously. Allow time between meals for saliva to neutralize acids and repair teeth.
- Do not consume too much packaged fruit juices.
- Do not eat or drink anything that contains sugar after brushing your teeth at bedtime. The flow of saliva decreases during sleep and without enough saliva the teeth have less ability to repair themselves after an attack of acid.
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming foods rich in acids, beverages, citrus fruits and juices. This allows time for remineralization to occur.
- Fluoride mouthwash and sugar-free chewing gum are useful after taking foods and beverages high in acids.
- Sugar-free chewing gums help increase the flow of saliva and clean the mouth of food debris.
- The European Food Information Council. Dental health Basic Documents 06/2006.
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). The process of tooth decay: How to reverse it and prevent tooth decay from forming. July 2013.
- Cuenca E, et al. Advice for the prevention of oral diseases. Med Clin. 1994 (Suppl 1): 134.
Categorised in: Decay Prevention