Good Oral and Dental Health Importance is your overall health. Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases affecting children and adults. It causes pain and discomfort, but also affect eating, speaking, and sleeping. Tooth decay can be largely prevented by limiting sugary foods, regular brushing, and regular dental checkups.
Causes of tooth decay
Everyone has tooth decay-causing bacteria living in their mouth. When sugary foods are eaten, bacteria produce acid that damages the tooth surface.
Saliva (saliva) contains minerals that help repair the tooth surface. Fluoride, found in toothpaste and most drinking water, helps repair the damage. However, if there is more acid damage than repair over time, a cavity or “hole” will form in the tooth surface.
Plaque and gum disease
Bacteria in the mouth form a sticky film called plaque. Gum disease is usually caused when plaque builds up on the gum line and the gums become inflamed and bleed easily. The gums may appear red and swollen (puffy) around the teeth.
If left untreated, inflammation from plaque can destroy the tissue fibers and bone that hold the teeth in place. Things that help prevent tooth decay also help prevent gum disease.
Prevent tooth decay
Everyone is at risk of tooth decay. Risks can be reduced by:
- Limiting sugar use (especially between meals)
- Brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Cleaning between teeth with dental floss or interdental brushes
- Have your teeth checked regularly by a dentist
- Regular brushing helps prevent decay
Although it is not possible to get rid of all the bacteria that cause tooth decay, it can be kept under control. Regular brushing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease by reducing the number of bacteria and plaque around the teeth and gums.
Tips for brushing teeth include:
It is necessary to clean the teeth and gum line twice a day; morning and before bedtime.
- A toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles should be used. Electric toothbrushes make brushing easier.
Toothpaste should not be used for children under 18 months, only water should be used.
People over the age of 18 months should use the appropriate fluoride toothpaste.
- Children aged 18 months to 5 years should use a small pea-sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste.
Standard fluoride toothpaste should be used for children aged six and over and adults.
- Brush the teeth gently and draw small circles along the gum line and brush each tooth on the front, back and chewing surface.
- When using an electric toothbrush, it is necessary to put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush head and touch the teeth first and then the gums. It should be moved slowly from tooth to tooth, including brushing where the gum and tooth meet. Pressing or brushing too hard is wrong. Brushing the inside, outside, chewing surface, top and bottom of each tooth is very important for dental health.
Only toothpaste should be spit out after brushing. Rinsing with water gives the fluoride much more time to strengthen the teeth.
Children should be helped to brush their teeth until they are sure they can do it on their own. Children usually develop the control they need around age seven to eight.
It’s important for people with braces to talk to their oral health professional about the best way to brush and prevent decay.
It is important to clean between the teeth to reach the areas that the toothbrush cannot reach. It’s important to talk to an oral hygienist about whether to use floss or an interdental brush to clean between teeth. Various products are available that can remove plaque between teeth.
Limiting sugar helps prevent tooth decay
Added sugar to the diet is the main cause of tooth decay. Reducing the amount of added sugar you eat and drink is the best way to reduce the risk of tooth decay. The less sugar in the diet, the less food the bacteria are given to help them grow and multiply. Fewer bacteria means less production of acid that damages tooth surfaces.
Most of the time, the ingredients of foods and drinks to avoid will be sweet. However, highly processed foods can contain sugar, even if they don’t taste sweet. Carbohydrate foods (such as bread, biscuits, pastries, and pasta) begin to turn into sugar in the mouth, which in turn feeds the bacteria that cause decay.