How Do I Prevent Tooth Decay?

As the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’. With modern diets and habits there are many situations that can result in one being more prone to developing tooth decay.

To help reduce the risk of developing tooth decay there are several factors that can be addressed.


The build-up of plaque and bacteria in the mouth for longer periods of time can result in the development of tooth decay.

In order to help reduce this risk the daily 'brushing' of your teeth is necessary. 

The use of either a 'manual' or an 'electric' toothbrush with soft bristles is recommended. 

When next visiting your Dentist speak to them about the 'type' of toothbrush best suited for you, as well as the 'frequency' of brushing required, as well as the 'technique' best used. 


Naturally there are spaces that exist in-between your teeth. These spaces can allow for food and bacteria to build up over time. 

If food and bacteria builds up in these areas for long periods then it can result in the development of tooth decay.

To help reduce the risk of decay developing in-between teeth a wide range of ‘interproximal cleaners’ are available for use.

As there are many different cleaners available eg. floss, piksters, flosettes, waterpiks etc. the most suitable type can vary depending on your individual needs and preferences.


Although toothbrushing and interproximal cleaning are 2 of the main cornerstones to maintain dental health, the use of a dental 'mouthrinse' can also be used to provide additional assistance.

There are several different types of mouthrinses available which can help protect against tooth decay eg. high fluoride mouthrinse, anti-plaque mouthrinse, those assisting with reduced saliva states, rinses which help protect against highly acidic environments etc.

The specific type mouthrinse which can help provide assistance will vary depending on your individual conditions and needs.


There are several dental products available which can help to provide additional 'protection' against tooth decay.

Some of the dental products available can help stabilize of even reverse ‘early damage’ due to decay.

These products can come in a few different forms eg. protective creams, specialised chewing gum etc. depending on what is required as well as the form preferred by the individual.


The bacteria which causes tooth decay tends to feed on foods and drinks which are high in 'sugars' and simple 'carbohydrates'. Food and drinks which have a ‘sticky’ consistency can further allow the bacteria to attach to the teeth and feed on these substances for longer periods of time.

As sugars and simple carbohydrates can be found in many everyday foods it can be difficult to limit our exposure to them. However, we can try to reduce our exposure to foods and drinks well known to contain large amounts of sugars eg. sweets, sugary drinks, cakes, ice cream etc.

Ideally it is best to avoid foods and drinks which contain sugar and simple carbohydrates. Alternatively, ‘reducing’ the frequency of exposure to these would be the next best approach.


There are several different 'medical conditions' as well as 'medications' which can result in ‘reduced saliva' production and 'flow' ie. having a thicker consistency.

Since saliva has several features which help to protect us against tooth decay, any loss or reduction in its presence can make one more severely more prone to decay.

Depending on the condition or medication there may be different management approaches or protective/supportive dental products that can be used to either help increase saliva production, or to provide additional protection for the teeth.


With the recent rise in the use of E-cigarettes and Vapes there has been more focus on investigating their effects on the human body.

One of the noted effects is the development of ‘dry mouth’, which is possibly associated with a reduction in ‘saliva production and flow’.

As saliva has several properties which helps to 'protect' our teeth against tooth decay, any reduction in the production or flow can result in an increased risk of developing tooth decay.

With the use of vapes there are several solutions available, some of these have been noted to contain high levels of sugar, as well as result in a ‘stickier’ consistency in the mouth.

The higher sugar content as well as thicker consistency can work together to create an environment conducive for the development of tooth decay.


If you would like to find out more information about any of the above topics then please see our other articles on our blog page.

Alternatively feel free to speak to you local Dentist at your next dental check-up to identify any contributing factors, as well as specific ways to help reduce your risk of developing tooth decay.