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Things To KNow About Tooth Decay

Mar 28, 2008
It would seem that the television is obsessed with our appearance but in truth all that TV does is supply the entertainment that people demand. Is it any wonder that the vast majority of us are preoccupied with our appearance? A quick browse through the magazines this month will force you to look at an endless supply of perfect people. Perfect skin and perfect bodies and a bright white smile. Of course most of use take good care of ourselves and some go to great lengths to look their best. Unfortunately it would appear that tooth care is often bottom of the list and tooth decay continues to appear at an alarming rate.

When I was young I was forced to sit in the dentist chair and suffer the uncomfortable experience of disgusting tasting gel trickling down my throat. Yes, like many children I had regular fluoride treatments on my teeth. Regular appointments at the dentist, constant inspections, numerous treatments and yet I find that I still suffer terribly from tooth decay. Sadly I have only myself to blame. No matter how well prepared you are in life it is how you choose to lead your life that makes the ultimate difference and I chose to eat far too many sweet foods and spent too little time looking after my teeth.

If we do not clean out teeth often enough bacteria can breed in our mouths. These bacteria produce up to five hundred different substances, many of which are harmful. The acids produced burn and destroy the softer material of the tooth and can, eventually damage the tooth to such a degree that cavities and holes appear in the teeth.

The bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay is called Streptococcus mutans. Depending on how you care for your teeth it can take anywhere between six months and six years before a hole appears in the tooth. While the center of the tooth is rather soft and is easily damaged the outer layer, enamel, is far tougher and therefore takes far longer to become seriously damaged sufficiently to collapse.

The most common places for cavities to appear is in the small gap between teeth. Even if you brush your teeth well and often you will find that it can be incredibly difficult to clean these areas using a toothbrush. To avoid decay in this area you will need to get into the habit of flossing your teeth regularly.

Another way in which to avoid cavities and tooth decay is to regularly use mouthwash. Just take a look at how many different types of mouthwash are available to choose from. Surely this tells you something of the importance of it's use? Not only does mouthwash help to keep your breath smelling nice and fresh it's main benefit is it's antibacterial action which lowers the levels of bacteria in the mouth and therefore reduces the risk of the tooth damaging acids from forming in the first place.

There are a number of ways in which you can stop tooth decay. The best way to do it is to follow good dental hygiene and avoid those things that are known to cause damage in the teeth. Here are the four most common causes; 1. Failure to brush and floss the teeth often enough. 2. Including too much sugar in the diet. Check the amount of sugar in all processed foods. 3. Lack of fluoride. This is relatively rare as many authorities now add fluoride to drinking water and nearly all dental products include fluoride. 4. Tobacco. Smoking, or chewing, tobacco is known to cause cavities.

After reading this article we hope that you now have a greater understanding of the need to develop a good dental care regime at your earliest opportunity. By following the hints and tips above you should be able to avoid the pain and discomfort associated with cavities.
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