Apparently half of the population in Australia don't brush their teeth twice a day, and 90 per cent of adults have some form of tooth decay.
Decay is an issue which Australians of all ages are struggling with, with 75% OF children have found to be eating too much sugar, and 30% of five year olds with decay in their baby teeth.
Children aged five to nine have one of the highest admission rates at hospital for preventable dental issues.
Teens are also struggling when it comes to taking care of their teeth, with 25% not visiting the dentist in the last year.
Fifteen percent of adults have lost most of their teeth.
Prevention is much better than cure, and decay is a largely preventable disease. Often, something as simple as a change to your diet or oral hygiene routine can make all the difference to keeping it at bay.
1. GOOD ORAL HYGIENE
Good home care with thorough twice day brushing with a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush and once day flossing will remove as much bacteria as possible- if there is minimal bacteria- there is minimal chance of the decay progressing. Your hygienist and dentist will check your cleaning at your preventive acre appointments, and alert you to any areas you may be missing. Change the toothbrush head each couple of months. Don’t snack or drink a thing other than water after brushing before bedtime.
2. REDUCE SUGAR INTAKE AND FREQUENCY OF SNACKING
Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soft drink,sports drinks, energy drinks, lollies, ice cream, some breakfast cereals, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables and juices may contribute to tooth decay.
Start by trying to reduce or even eliminate refined sugars from your diet. This includes things like limiting sugar in coffee and tea, as well as being aware of sugar in foods,
Another dietary factor is the frequency of meals or snacking. People who snack throughout the day or night tend to have a higher decay rate.
This is because every time you eat, plaque releases acids, so snacking frequently increases the attacks on your teeth. It is best to stick to set meals.
3. USING FLUORIDE AND/OR CALCIUM CONTAINING PRODUCTS
Damaged (demineralised) enamel can be hardened again (remineralised) by calcium and fluoride. This means that if decay is in its very early stage it can potentially be reversed! Always use a fluoride- containing toothpaste.
4. REGULAR DENTAL VISITS
This will allow the dentist to pick up any changes at an early stage.