A healthy diet avoiding frequent consumption of food and drink with a high sugar content is key to reducing your risk of tooth decay. It will also help reduce your risk of being over-weight.
Using fluoride also helps prevent tooth decay. Everyone should brush their teeth twice a day using a fluoride containing toothpaste. Fluoride strengthens the surface of tooth enamel making it more resistant to acid attack and helping to reverse early decay. It also reduces the ability of plaque bacteria to produce the acid which damages the tooth, causing tooth decay. For children there is also an effect on the growing teeth that are yet to erupt – making the whole tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to decay.
Tooth brushing should be supervised for children at least up to the age of seven years. Supervision helps to ensure the correct brushing technique is used and prevents children from swallowing large amounts of toothpaste.
Children under three years of age should use only a smear of a toothpaste containing 1,000 ppm (parts per million of Fluoride).
Children over three years old, and adults, should use a pea sized amount of a toothpaste containing 1,350-1,500 ppm of Fluoride.
Children over 6 years of age, and adults, may benefit from using a daily Fluoride mouthwash containing 0.05% Sodium Fluoride (225 ppm Fluoride), particularly if they are at greater than average risk of tooth decay (e.g. during orthodontic treatment).
For children over 10 years of age and adults we can prescribe higher strength fluoride toothpaste if we think you are at greater than average risk of tooth decay.
We can also apply topical fluoride treatments using a Fluoride varnish. This can help reduce the risk of early decay progressing to a cavity. It can also be helpful in treating sensitive teeth caused by receding gums or acid erosion.