3 Commonly Ignored Practices that Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Dentist Blog

When you research strategies for preventing tooth decay, there is no doubt you will get a truckload of approaches. The techniques range from brushing your teeth immediately after every meal to avoiding staining beverages such as coffee and sugary drinks. While there is no denying that these practices work to keep tooth decay at bay, most people ignore the basic tactics. Many people go to great lengths, such as expensive whitening procedures, to prevent periodontal disease when they don't have to. This article provides insight into basic practices that go a long way towards preventing tooth decay.

Don't Brush Immediately After Meals

From childhood, almost everyone is aware that they should brush their teeth after every meal. It helps to remove food particles stuck between the teeth, thereby preventing bacteria from acting on the teeth and causing tooth decay. However, did you know that you are not supposed to brush immediately after eating a meal?

The reason is that your tooth's enamel softens from saliva's action to neutralize mouth acids present after meals. By brushing immediately after meals, therefore, you risk brushing away bits of enamel, thus exposing your teeth to bacteria attack and consequent tooth decay. Consequently, it is recommended that you first rinse your mouth after meals, then wait for at least an hour before brushing. It is enough time for saliva to neutralize the acidity inside your oral cavity. 

Drink Lots of Water

Who knew that drinking a lot of water plays an integral role in preventing tooth decay? People who drink water throughout the day have lower chances of getting tooth decay than people that do not. It can be attributed to the fact that inadequate saliva flow creates an acidic environment inside the mouth. Since an acidic environment works against the surface of your teeth, you need to increase the levels of saliva flow between your teeth. Drinking a lot of water promotes the process by adequately neutralizing the acids and providing restorative benefits to your teeth. Alternatively, you can opt for sugar-free chewing gums since they help achieve the same result. 

Brush the Tongue

You might ask what the tongue has to do with your teeth. Well, the back of your tongue is a haven for bacterial growth if you do not brush it thoroughly and regularly. Some people focus too much of their brushing on the teeth and simply give their tongue a few strokes. If you do not brush your tongue as required, then your teeth stand the risk of decay. Ensure that you designate enough time to clean your tongue — above and below — to prevent tooth decay.

For more information, contact your dentist.


3 October 2019

Teeth And Tears: Dental Dramas Of A School Nurse

I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.