Tooth decay, also known as dental decay or dental caries, is a major health concern worldwide and is still a big problem in the UK. Despite being preventable, it's one of the most common reasons for hospital admission in children.
Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth tissue caused by acids made by bacteria in dental plaque. Dental plaque is a sticky film that constantly forms on the teeth. Each time you have sugary food and drink, the bacteria in plaque produce acid that attacks teeth.
If you eat or drink sugary foods frequently throughout the day, you have more "acid attacks" which can lead to tooth decay. This can eventually lead to cavities (holes) in the teeth and infection, which is why teeth sometimes need to be removed.
A range of toothpastes are available that contain different levels of fluoride. The amount of fluoride thats in the toothpaste can be found on the side of the tube and is measured in parts per million (ppm).
Toothpastes containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride are the most effective. Your dentist may advise you to use higher-strength toothpaste if you or your child is at particular risk of tooth decay.
Dont use mouthwash at the same time as brushing. Use it at an alternative time, because it washes away the fluoride in the toothpaste
They should be used every day, in addition to brushing twice daily with toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm fluoride.
Rinses should be used at different times to brushing to avoid washing the toothpaste off your teeth, as this reduces the beneficial effects of the fluoride in the toothpaste.
Fluoride varnish can be applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth by a dentist. The process involves painting a varnish containing high levels of fluoride onto the surface of the tooth every six months to prevent decay. It works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
From the age of three, children should be offered fluoride varnish treatment at least twice a year. Fluoride varnish should be offered two or more times a year for children of all ages with tooth decay or those at high risk of developing it.
Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish. Find a dentist near you.
Read about fluoride - a naturally occurring mineral found in toothpaste, drinking water and some foods that can help to prevent tooth decay.
Tooth decay, also known as dental decay or dental caries, is a major health concern worldwide and is still a big problem in the UK. Despite being preventable, it's one of the most common reasons for h
Most water supplies contain some fluoride and in the early 20th century, levels of tooth decay were found to be associated with fluoride levels in drinking water.This led to the introduction of water
There have been some concerns that fluoride may be linked to a variety of health conditions. Reviews of the risks (see above) have so far found no convincing evidence to support these concerns. Howeve