Your diet not only plays a part in nourishing your body but also in the health of your teeth and gums. If you lack certain nutrients, you may be susceptible to mouth infections or tooth decay. Many researchers also believe that there is a link between poor nutrition and the progression of gum disease as well as cavities and decay.
To stave off cavities and decay we recommend that you eat a balanced diet which comprises of the four main food groups which include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads and cereals
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat, fish and eggs.
Many people believe that lollies and sweets are to blame for cavities and decay.
In fact tooth decay can be caused by any food that contains sugars and carbohydrates as well as frequent snacking.
Try to avoid soft, sticky foods such as cakes, candy, peanut butter and dried fruits. Sugary foods that stick to your teeth promote tooth decay also. Fizzy drinks (including diet drinks), cordial, fruit juice and sports drinks should be avoided.
How are Cavities And Decay caused?
Tooth decay, also known as caries, is a result of tooth demineralisation.
Dental plaque is made up of bacteria which feeds on sugars from food and drinks. This produces acids which erode the teeth by dissolving minerals on the tooth surface. When plaque builds up on the teeth and is left for a period of time the decay causing bacteria can penetrate the tooth’s outer surface. Once this protective outer surface, known as the enamel is breached then tooth is then compromised.
At this stage decay will progress rapidly and even with thorough cleaning you will still require professional attention.
How to prevent Cavities And Decay
The less exposure your teeth have to the demineralising acids in plaque the better. This means that the less sugar and carbohydrates you consume and the fewer number of times a day that you eat are the key factors in preventing decay.
Some points to follow:
- Minimise the duration sugars are allowed to remain in your mouth. Brush and floss, or at least rinse, promptly after consuming sugary or sticky foods
- Avoid constant snacking
- Don’t sip on acidic or sugary drinks over a prolonged period of time. Drink through a straw and rinse your mouth with water when finished.
Decay can be prevented with good oral hygiene techniques. We recommend the following oral care routine in addition to the above dietary recommendations.
- Brush your teeth twice daily with an electric toothbrush
- Floss once daily to remove plaque and debris caught between your teeth
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride
Worried About Cavities And Decay
Another important step in achieving healthy teeth and gums is to attend regular 6 monthly dental examinations.
If you experience any pain or discomfort between these appointments then please make an appointment with us straight away.
By attending to your oral condition early, we may be able to prevent further deterioration of the tooth and may also limit the treatment required.
To arrange a dental examination appointment to check for decay please phone Sunshine Coast Smile Centre on 07 54432800.