The Best Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a very common, yet, totally preventable disease. It is one of the main causes of dental pain so we thought it would be helpful to write a blog about how you can minimise your risk. You can do this by:

  • Making sensible dietary choices.
  • Using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Having good oral hygiene/regular hygienist visits.
  • Making regular visits to your dentist to help detect any early signs of decay.


Dietary choices

Many scientific studies have proven a clear link between dietary habits and dental decay.

The more frequently you have sugar in your diet the more likely you are to develop decay. Every time you have sugar in food/drink, your mouth becomes more acidic and your teeth are essentially under ‘attack’ from this acid. If this ‘sugar attack’ happens more than 4 x a day then you are at increased risk of cavities in your teeth. 

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We therefore recommend:

  • Only drinking water/milk in between meals.
  • Only having non-sugar containing snacks in between meals (for example, nuts).

Watch out for:

  • Sugar in your tea or coffee (you are best to use a sweetener instead).
  • Manufacturers may lead you into believe that a product is sugar free when in fact it may not be. For example, diluting juice that has ‘no added sugar’ or ‘contains only natural sugar’ can still harm your teeth if consumed frequently enough.



Using a Fluoride toothpaste

Check your toothpaste tube to make sure that it contains at least 1450ppm (parts per million) as this will be a great way of protecting the surface of your teeth during these ‘sugar attacks’.

We recommend not using any water while you brush in order to prevent diluting the effects of the toothpaste:

  1. Put your toothpaste on a dry toothbrush
  2. Brush your teeth for at least 2 mins.
  3. Spit the toothpaste into the sink without rinsing with water or mouthwash afterwards.
  4. Leave as much toothpaste on your teeth as you can for the maximum benefit.



Good Oral Hygiene

Everybody will naturally form plaque on their teeth and other hard surfaces in the mouth. Plaque contains lots of different types of bacteria and some of these bacteria are responsible for causing decay. It is, therefore, vital that you do your best to remove this bacterial plaque before it gets a chance to form holes in the surfaces of your teeth.

If you attend regular appointments with one of our hygiene therapists, they will be able to show you specifically how best to clean your own mouth. Generally speaking, this is done by brushing at least 2 times a day and using either floss or interdental brushes daily.


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For more information or to book an appointment with our dental hygienist, contact the practice on 0131 225 7576.


Anna Ronaldson

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