What causes of tooth decay?
The main cause of tooth decay is the frequent consumption of sugary foods, drinks and sweets. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar. As they digest it they produce an acid, which eats away at the enamel, eventually leading to the development of cavities, or caries. The bacteria will produce this acid every time you have something sugary or sweet and the acid can remain in your mouth for up to two hours before it’s neutralised by your saliva. So if you eat and drink sweet things regularly throughout the day, your saliva won’t have enough time to neutralise the acid and gradually tooth decay will set in.
How to prevent tooth decay?
In fact tooth decay is surprisingly easy to prevent. Just try and stick to three healthy meals a day and clean your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, including before going to bed. People who are prone to tooth decay can benefit from using a special fluoride mouth rinse, which has been shown to strengthen teeth. If you’re out and about and can’t clean your teeth, chewing sugar-free gum will help to clear away food debris and increase the flow of saliva, helping to neutralise the plaque acid. However, chewing gum should not be substituted for brushing your teeth. If you enjoy sugary or sweet foods or drinks, have them as a part of your meal or straight after, but ideally not just before going to bed.