How to not have holes
What’s this?” I hear you ask. Why is a dentist trying to stop you having fillings? Shouldn’t we be giving everyone free sample bags full of lollies & chips to try & drum up a bit more business?
The truth is there’s lots of things we’d rather do than continually fill your teeth. And no matter how good our dentistry is, the facts are that there is no way that we can stop you from getting holes. You have to do that yourself. So here’s how. We would like you all to know that this applies to adults & kids equally.
Question 1: I brush my teeth everyday. Why do I still have holes?
Answer: This is the most frequently asked question in the dental surgery. The first thing to say is that you must brush your teeth at least twice a day. If you don’t, you will get gum disease, & you may get more holes. But unless you can brush your teeth and floss well enough to clean off every last little bacteria on every surface of your teeth , you can still get holes. Bacteria are tiny & it doesn’t take many of the right sort to cause problems.
Question 2: Why should I floss?
Answer: Brushing your teeth cleans everywhere except in between your teeth. You wouldn’t eat with a knife & fork that hadn’t been cleaned properly – but that’s what you’re doing if you don’t floss your teeth. Apart from being disgusting to walk around with a weeks worth of food between your teeth, most holes that we fill, & most gum disease occurs in between the teeth.
Question 3: I rinse with mouthwash. Isn’t that as good?
Answer: No. Mouthwash will kill the surface bacteria. This is fine for ulcers or specific problems, but the deep bacteria will not be affected. By all means rinsing can be done, after brushing and flossing.
Question 4: I water down the juice in my child’s bottle/sipper cup, so why have they still got holes?
Answer: Again it’s down to bacteria. A big man needs a big meal to fill him up. Bacteria need microscopic amounts. So whether you water the juice down or not, it’s enough sugar for the bacteria to use & cause decay.
Question 5: Okay I give in what is the real story?
Answer: There are millions of bacteria in our mouths. Some are “good”, some do nothing, some cause gum disease & some cause decay. Every time we eat, we feed them. If the food we eat is sticky, & stays on the teeth, they are being fed even if we aren’t eating. Glucose (as in honey) is what they need. They break the sugar down into little packets of glucose, & they don’t need much because they are very, very, very tiny.
So if you have something sweet often – even if it is just one piece of gum, or peppermint etc that is enough. Or if you are eating something sticky that stays on your teeth the bacteria are very very very happy, & very well fed. Every time they get sugar, they make acid, & the acid softens up your enamel.
The saliva is like a repairman. It tries to patch up the damage done by the acid. But if you don’t have much saliva, & you feed the bacteria often, or for a long time the saliva can’t fix things, & the enamel will soften up & you’ll get a hole.
Question 6: Does an apple a day keep the dentist away?
Answer: No. You can’t clean your teeth by eating hard foods. But you can slow down the acid attack by eating the right foods. Foods such as cheese & milk actually inhibit the acid & slow it down.
Question 7: Give me a quick summary of the dos & don’ts.
How to not have holes?
Answer: Do not eat sugar or carbohydrates frequently – even in small amounts if you can help it.
- Don’t eat sticky food in between meals.
- Do floss – brush – at least twice a day.
- Pick food such as cheese as snack foods.
- If you are going to binge – get it over & done with in one go- don’t pick at it.
- Drink plenty of water.
- If you have a dry mouth – see your dentist!
- Even if you do not have a dry mouth see your dentist, we are not that bad once you get to know us.So just to recap…. How to not have holes? See us today!