Cavity Prevention Advice

Dentist Blog

Oral bacteria are a major cause of tooth decay and cavities.  Over time, the bacteria invade the living dentin and pulp of the tooth, setting up an infection.  Once this happens, the only way to treat the problem is for your dentist to remove the infected portion of the tooth to arrest the disease progression and then seal the tooth with a filling.

So how can you protect your mouth from the ravages of oral bacteria?  Read on for some helpful advice.

 How Oral Bacteria Cause Cavities

Before you can begin to combat oral bacteria, it's helpful to understand how it affects your mouth.

Bacteria accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth in the form of plaque, a sticky, filmy deposit.  These bacteria feed on the carbohydrates and sugars contained in what you eat and drink, leaving behind acids.  The acids break down the minerals in the tooth enamel, allowing the bacteria to penetrate the protective shell of the enamel to attack the pulp and dentin inside the tooth.

Preventing Bacterial Accumulation

  1. Removing bacteria quickly is very important to prevent the damage caused by accumulation.  You can shift plaque and trapped food by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly.  Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily too, especially after meals.  
  2. Try to cut down on the amount of sugary food and carbs that you eat each day.  
  3. The saliva produced in your mouth helps to neutralise the harmful acids caused by bacteria.  Some medications and diseases can cause 'dry mouth', leaving you short of saliva.  You can counter the effects of dry mouth by drinking plenty of fresh water throughout the day and using an enamel-fortifying mouth rinse.  
  4. If you wear braces on your teeth, night guards or other orthodontic appliances, you must take extra time to brush your teeth thoroughly, as these items tend to trap food, providing a great breeding ground for bacteria.  
  5. The shape of your back teeth can form traps for food and bacteria.  Molars and bicuspid teeth tend to have tiny fissures, making perfect hidey holes for plaque.  Your tooth shape is largely governed by genetics so there's not much you can do about this, other than to pay particular attention to thoroughly cleaning your back teeth.

You can do a lot to prevent bacteria from causing cavities in your teeth.  Make sure that you attend for regular dental check-ups and professional deep-cleans by your dentist or hygienist and follow the tips given above on a daily basis. If the pain from decaying teeth is too much, also consider seeing an emergency dentist for quicker treatment.


22 December 2016

Travel With An Australian Dentist:  The Best In The World

Miranda Raff here. My brother is a stressed-out dental student, so I'm starting this blog on his behalf. I work in a travel agency and my brother is mortified by the number of dental tourism stories I bring home. I book short holidays for people who seem as though they are going to enjoy some relaxation in an exotic country, only to learn that they plan to have cheap dental procedures. Whilst there are good dentists in developing countries, according to my brother, the complex procedures these people plan to have simply can't be finished in such a limited time. This blog is an attempt to inform you about the high skill levels and advanced technology found in Australian dental surgeries. New techniques are being developed every year and Australian dentists are at the forefront of offering these solutions. I really hope this blog helps you to appreciate our dentists.