Tooth decay is unfortunately still a common problem with 84% of adults having one or more fillings – the average being 7 fillings and 31% of adults have tooth decay. A third of all children starting school have tooth decay and one in five people think that fluoride is a marketing gimmick. One in five of us cannot remember when they last changed their toothbrush!!!! However funnily our toothbrush came top of the list of things we could not do without when we go on holiday – but more than half of us would share that brush with someone else – 24% with our partners, 18% with our children, 7% with a friend and 6% with a celebrity!!!! So here are our top tips to prevent dental decay:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a toothpaste containing fluoride – if you only brush once a day you are a third more likely to get decay. Adult toothpaste should contain 1350-1500 ppm (parts per million) fluoride. For children under 3 use a smear of toothpaste of no less than 1000ppm. After three use a pea sized amount of adult toothpaste twice daily until the age of seven.
- Limit your intake of sugary foods to meal times – ideally only three per day. The main cause of decay is not the amount of sugar in the diet but how often it is eaten or drunk throughout the day.
- Try and substitute sugary snacks between meals with safer foods – such as those containing natural sugars e.g. fruit or artificial sweeteners.
- If you have a sweet tooth then look for sugar free sweets containing Xylitol – it can help prevent tooth decay.
- Chew sugar free gum after eating , especially after lunch when you may not be able to brush, as this will stimulate your saliva and neutralize the acid created by eating sugary food that cause tooth decay.
- Visit the dentist regularly to get the best preventative advice and to catch any problems early – when things are easily treated and before there is any pain.
If you would like any further information on this subject then please contact us !