If you ask a dentist what issue concerning poor dental health they believe is the most preventable, many will answer, ‘tooth decay’. While many oral health issues may result from other underlying health issues, tooth decay is one. In many cases, that is self-created and, as such, is preventable.
If you ask the public what they know about tooth decay, you will likely be shocked by their lack of knowledge. Many will mention sugar and fizzy drinks, but the majority would appear unaware of many of the facts relating to tooth decay. This is concerning, as without knowledge of a problem, how are people meant to prevent it from happening? So, to help address this, here are seven facts about tooth decay from the dental experts at www.dentalosogentle.com.au.
#1: One that most people know, but it is worth confirming, that most people get tooth decay because of the types of food and drink they consume. In particular, food and beverages with high sugar levels, such as chocolate, fizzy drinks, and lollies. Alternative, low-sugar, or sugar-free options are available, which are far less damaging to our teeth
#2: Poor oral hygiene also leads to tooth decay as lack of brushing and flossing allows dental plaque to build up. When increased amounts of acid build up on our teeth, acid starts to break down the surface of those teeth and subsequently causes cavities. In the worst cases, the tooth, or multiple teeth, become so decayed that they are beyond saving and either fall out or must be removed.
#3: Many people have tooth decay and do not realise it until a dental check-up allows their dentist to spot it. This is because, in its earliest stages, tooth decay is not always clearly visible, nor does it create any noticeable symptoms. This points to the need for everyone to have regular check-ups at their dentist, even if their teeth look and feel healthy.
#4: The areas of our teeth most susceptible to tooth decay are the surfaces used to bite and chew food and the characters between each tooth. The reason is that these surfaces are most prone to plaque building up due to a lack of brushing and flossing.
#5: Apart from reducing your sugar intake, one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay is to brush your teeth correctly. This means touching the entire surface of your teeth and brushing those areas that ordinarily might be missed as they are hard to reach.
#6: Brushing is all good and well, but it acts as an ever better block on tooth decay if you use the correct brush, and it has the most appropriate bristles. Unless your dentist has told you to use one, a toothbrush with stiff bristles is unnecessary. Instead, a soft or medium-bristled toothbrush will suffice.
#7: Even if your brush is the correct one, and you brush diligently throughout the day, there is another part of your dental hygiene that is essential to avoiding tooth decay, and that is flossing. If you do not floss, much of the plaque between your teeth will remain, and as we have already mentioned, plaque is a prime cause of tooth decay, so ensure you remove it by flossing after you brush your teeth.