A Winning Smile

5 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay

It’s no secret that a nice smile can improve someone’s day, especially if it’s a perfect row of pearly whites on show. However, preventing tooth decay means you’ll have to do more than just

brushing your teeth to ensure you don’t end up in the dentist’s chair.

Although a toothache can be caused by some very serious conditions (such as a tooth abscess) in most cases tooth pain is due to tooth decay, also known as a cavity. Here are five ways that can help you take better care of your teeth and avoid a toothache:

  1. Routine Brushing

Good oral hygiene is the best way to help prevent cavities and the toothache that often comes with tooth decay. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, preferably with toothpaste that contains fluoride, will minimise the accumulation of food particles on your teeth that can cause damage as you go through the day and when you are sleeping.

  1. Flossing

Cleaning between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners not only gets rid of irritating food particles, it helps to prevent periodontal (gum) disease. 

  1. Use the Right Toothbrush

Change your toothbrush every three months and make sure that the bristles of your toothbrush are soft. Hard bristled toothbrushes can cause damage to the gums, and this may then lead to gum diseases.

  1. A Healthy Diet

Cleaning your mouth and teeth aren’t enough – you need to watch what you eat too. By limiting the amount of sugar you take in, both in your food and your drinks, you provide less fuel for the bacteria in your mouth to grow. Also, sticky foods such as caramel, fruit snacks, and candy can easily get lodged in the spaces between and on your teeth and create cavities in hard-to-clean places.

  1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

While nobody wants to spend time in the dentist’s chair, regular consultations can help prevent big problems later on. Twice-yearly visits to the dentist ensure that you are getting a thorough cleaning when you need it most. These visits also give the dentist a chance to catch problems as soon as possible.

Beat Tooth Decay with Bestmed

As a Bestmed member, you have access to preventative dental care benefits to help you smile from ear to ear. These benefits are available on all Bestmed options, except Beat1, and include:

  • General full-mouth examination by a general dentist (including gloves and use of sterile equipment for the visit) for ages 12 and over, once a year and children under 12, twice a year.
  • Full-mouth intra-oral radiographs for all ages once every 36 months.
  • 2 intra-oral radiograph photos per year for all ages.
  • Scaling and/or polishing for all ages twice a year.
  • Fluoride treatment for all ages twice a year.
  • Fissure sealing, up to and including 21 years, in accordance with accepted protocol.
  • Space maintainers during primary and mixed denture stage, once per space.

For more information on our dentistry benefits, call us on 0860 002 378 or send an email to service@bestmed.co.za.

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