We hope everyone had a great Easter Monday and enjoyed their time off but we hope you didn’t eat too many chocolate easter eggs. Chocolate is a big cause of dental decay; more accurately it is the refined sugar which chocolate contains which causes dental decay.
What is tooth decay?
When decay starts in a tooth it is actually an infection of bacteria inside the tooth. For decay to start it requires three things:
- Bacteria to be present (which there are plenty of in everyones mouth). Certain bacteria cause decay more than other and this can vary from person to person.
- The bacteria then needs a food source for them to grow which is readily supplied by sugar in our diets.
- The final part is TIME. Over time the bacteria together with their food source will cause decay.
Once decay has started in a tooth the only way to treat it is generally by having a filling so ideally we want to prevent it from starting. Ways to prevent decay are to brush your teeth regularly (at least twice daily) with a fluoride toothpaste. This removes plaque and bacteria from your teeth so that they cannot start causing decay. Also modern toothpastes have several ingredients which strengthen and help repair teeth. Also a healthy diet plays a large part in preventing dental decay. It is not possible to completely remove sugar from your diet so we advise that you reduce the number of times that you have high sugar containing foods such as chocolates and perhaps restrict those to after meal times. The final way to help prevent dental decay is to visit the dentist regularly for check ups.
This was a brief overview on how dental decay works in your teeth. In later blogs we will talk in more detail about diet and toothbrushing and just how much they can affect whether you develop decay or not. In the mean time if you would like to visit us for a free check up then please contact us.