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Teeth: 6 Habits That Could Lead To Tooth Decay & 6 Habits To Prevent It

Below we discuss what habits can lead to tooth decay and habits that might help you prevent it.

Teeth: 6 Habits That Could Lead To Tooth Decay & 6 Habits To Prevent It

Sugary and acidic foods can contribute to tooth decay

Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is a common oral health problem caused by bacteria that produce acid from food particles and plaque on the teeth. It is essentially the destruction of the tooth structure caused by acids that gradually eat away the enamel (outer protective layer) and dentin (inner layer) of the tooth. Keep reading as we discuss what habits can lead to tooth decay and habits that might help you prevent it.

6 Habits that could lead to tooth decay

1. Poor oral hygiene



Not brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly can lead to the build-up of plaque and bacteria, which can cause tooth decay.

2. Consuming sugary foods and drinks



Frequent consumption of sugary snacks, sodas, and other sweet treats provides food for the bacteria in your mouth, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

3. Infrequent dental visits

Skipping regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings can allow dental issues to go unnoticed and untreated, potentially leading to tooth decay.

4. Smoking and tobacco use

Tobacco products can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as they contain harmful chemicals that damage teeth and gums.

5. Alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause dry mouth, which reduces saliva production. Saliva helps neutralise acids and protect against tooth decay, so a lack of saliva can increase the risk of decay.

6. Using teeth as tools

Using your teeth to open packages, crack nuts, or bite on non-food objects can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, creating areas for bacteria to accumulate and cause tooth decay.

6 Habits that will help you prevent tooth decay

1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day

Brushing helps remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.

2. Floss daily

Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along the gum-line, where a toothbrush cannot reach effectively. This prevents tooth decay in those hard-to-reach areas.

3. Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks

Sugary and acidic foods can contribute to tooth decay. Try to minimise your consumption of candies, sodas, fruit juices, and other sugary treats. If you do consume them, rinse your mouth with water afterward or brush your teeth to reduce the impact on your dental health.

4. Avoid snacking frequently

Frequent snacking can increase the exposure of your teeth to sugars and acids. When you do snack, choose healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and cheese, as they have less harmful effects on your teeth.

5. Chew sugar-free gum

Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and neutralise acids in the mouth. Look for gum that contains xylitol, as it has been shown to have additional cavity-preventing properties.

6. Visit your dentist regularly

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial in preventing tooth decay. Your dentist can identify and treat any early signs of decay, as well as provide professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup.

Maintaining good oral hygiene can help you lower risk of tooth decay.


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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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