tooth decay advice in mansfield

Plaque & Tooth Decay

What Is Plaque?

Plaque is a soft sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains bacteria & food debris. Though it is mostly colourless, dental plaque can cause teeth to feel fuzzy or rough if it accumulates. The harm it causes comes from food debris which sticks to the plaque during meals and snacks and provides a plentiful supply of nourishment for its bacteria and other micro-organisms. They accordingly flourish, the plaque grows quicker, and caries and periodontal disease begin.

 

How does it cause tooth decay?

 

Plaque bacteria

(In Our Mouth) 

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Sugar

(In Our Diet)

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Acid Attack

(Around 20 Minutes)

 

This happens every time we consume sugar, Therefore it is the FREQUENCY of the sugar that will cause the most damage to our teeth.

 

What can we do to prevent tooth decay?

 

keep plaque levels to a minimum through an effective oral hygiene regime

healthy eating

reducing the frequency of sugar throughout the day

 

Brush twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste. After brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste, no rinsing after brushing with water or mouthwash.  Many toothpastes contain around 1350-1500 parts per million fluoride which help to strengthen our teeth. Therefore using water to rinse after brushing will wash all the fluoride away. Mouthwash contains around 225-500 parts per millions fluoride washing away the higher concentration that is in toothpaste.  Mouthwash does have its uses; ideally fluoride mouthwash is best used AWAY from toothbrushing and should not be used by children under 6 years of age.

Interdental cleaning is just as important to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Food debris and plaque that gets stuck between our teeth does not always get removed through toothbrushing alone. Therefore we recommend using floss and /or interdental brushes to clean between teeth. It is best to do this before brushing your teeth twice a day.

For further advice on interdental cleaning speak to one of our Hygienists or Oral Health Educator by calling the practice on 01623 629359.

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Onto diet, ideally we need to cut down on the frequency of sugar that is consumed throughout the day. We advise cutting down on snacks between meals and keeping treats to after a meal. Healthy snacks include vegetable sticks, plain yoghurt, crackers, cheese etc. Check labels you will be surprised how much food has sugar added into it. Fresh fruit still contains sugar and is also acidic, therefore moderation is the key. Smoothies and juices are not healthy snacks due to the high content of sugar, They are best enjoyed at a meal time. Dried fruit like raisins and sultanas contain high amounts of naturally occurring sugar and tend to get stuck in the biting surfaces of teeth, so again snacking throughout the day can on these can cause tooth decay. Milk, water, tea and coffee (no sugar) are the healthiest drinks to keep our teeth healthy.

 

Finally visiting Thackeray Dental Care on a regular basis. We are always happy to provide advice on keeping your teeth and gums healthy 😊. If you would like to book an appointment with our dental hygienists, contact your dentist in Mansfield on 01623 629359.

By Jen Porter

(Lead Nurse & Oral Health Educator)

 

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