After years of fluoridation being effective at managing decay, the change in our diets and lifestyles is causing this new increase. But how does it all start? Let’s look at the history and aeitology of dental disease.
Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria that lives in our mouths and causes most of the damage. This bacteria feeds on the sugary foods that we eat. The more foods and sugar you eat, without brushing, the more bacteria efficiently grows to eat the sugars. Effectively leading to decay and gum disease.
When we are born we are sterile. Our mouths do not have this bacteria but they gain the bacteria from parents and grandparents and other family members who’ve gained it from their interactions with others. The big issue is that the family members who have holes in their teeth and gum and bone disease have a lot more bacteria. And research has shown that they have a lot more to share around as well. So any interaction with them will cause the bacteria to be with you. In other words, the more streptococcus mutans you have in your mouth the easier it is for you to spread the germs around through sharing utensils / drinks / foods, even coughing, sneezing and kissing. So looking after your teeth means that you are actually looking after the teeth of the people around you. Even if you are not concerned about spreading it, you should be concerned about how dental decay can affect your own health. Dental disease can cause a lot of medical issues with your own health. Research is unanimous that heart disease, diabetes, low birth weight babies, premature babies, lung disease and more can all be caused by dental disease. Dental disease – you can avoid it.
Tips for maintaining good oral and dental health
• Have your teeth and gums cleaned by your FirstBite Dental professionals.
Six months is normally the maximum time between cleans. Over time the bacteria becomes hard and you cannot remove it. Regular check-ups are the most cost effective way to manage dental health.
• Get those fillings done that you have put off. Holes in teeth allows more bacteria to accumulate within the tooth and you also end up with root canals or extractions.
• Home care is vital. You need to brush at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes a time, brushing the teeth and massaging the gums gently.
• You need to floss once a day. 30% of bacteria sits in between the teeth and brushing alone will not get it.
• Tongue scraping once a day is also important. If brushing is like cleaning the walls then the tongue is the carpet. It holds even more germs.
• Finishing off with a mouth wash is great just to kill a few more germs and freshen up your breath. But don’t overdo the mouth wash as the other things are more important.
Start looking after your teeth for your family’s and your own sake. Once you have a healthy mouth you can create the smile you want. Ask us about teeth whitening at FirstBite Dental too when you book in for your next dental health check-up and professional teeth cleaning.