How caries are prevented

Dr. Daniel Tafur, specialist in Dentistry of the Tafur Clinic explains the keys on how to avoid cavities with a series of tips on brushing and dental care of your mouth.

Dental caries is mainly a multifactorial disease, that is to say, it can be caused by a series of factors that are mentioned below:

  • Bacteria. It is also called dental plaque. It is usually acidic, such as streptococcus mutans in enamel caries and lactobacillus in dentin caries.
  • Sugar consumption. A high intake of sugars between meals or viscous sugars makes it easier for caries to appear.
  • The person and his or her mouth have an influence. The shape of the teeth, the location of the arch or the presence or absence of orthodontics can facilitate its appearance.

Can caries be prevented in adults?

Preventing tooth decay is not impossible, in fact, if you follow these tips, you can avoid its appearance:

  • Avoid sugary drinks and foods
  • Consume fruits and vegetables that increase saliva production.
  • Drink water with fluoride, such as tap water, as it helps to strengthen the enamel.
  • Use dental floss to remove debris that may remain between the teeth.
  • Brushing your teeth after every meal, especially when you have eaten foods containing sugars.
  • Visiting the dentist regularly

How can you prevent tooth decay in your child?

  • Make a visit to the dentist or dentist you trust between the first six and twelve months of your child’s life.
  • When teeth appear in the mouth, start brushing.
  • Avoid or prevent the child from sleeping with a bottle.
  • Breastfeeding should be discontinued at the time when the child is able to drink (around 12 months).

How do you assess the possibility of caries risk?

There are several tools that can be used to evaluate the risk of caries in each person. The specialist will make a classification by groups:

Low risk group. Recommendations for patients five years of age or younger

  • Tooth brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. One of them should be at night
  • Brushing should last at least two minutes and the amount of toothpaste used should not exceed the size of a pea.
  • After brushing, spit out the remains, but do not rinse the mouth with water.
  • Use drugs that do not contain sugar
  • Use an electric toothbrush
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Recommendations for low-risk groups with persons over six years of age

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Toothpaste should contain arginine
  • After brushing, spit out the remains of the toothpaste, but do not rinse the mouth with water.
  • Decrease the amount of sugary soft drinks. Sugars should only be consumed during main meals.
  • Supervise children’s brushing
  • Use and promote the use of drugs that do not contain sugar.
  • Brushing should last two minutes. The amount of paste used in the process should be about the size of a pea.

Recommendations for patients at high risk for caries between the ages of zero and five years old:

  • Brush teeth more than twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush teeth at least once a week with a fluoride gel (sodium fluoride-amine fluoride).
  • Reduce consumption of sugary drinks and sweet foods.
  • Use sugar-free medicines
  • Parents should floss after brushing their children’s teeth.
  • Avoid use of bottles with sweet drinks before bedtime.

Recommendations for high-risk patients over six years of age:

  • Brush teeth more than twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use fluoride rinses independently of brushing.
  • Use diluted fluoride tablets in the mouth
  • Brushing teeth at least once a week with fluoride/sodium amine gel
  • Use xylitol chewing gum or xylitol tablets at least five times a day.
  • One of the brushings should be at night.
  • Significantly reduce consumption of sweet foods and drinks.
  • Parents should help children to floss their teeth.
  • Avoid using a bottle with sweet drinks before bedtime.

For more information on cavities, contact a specialist in Oral Surgery or Dentistry.