What causes cavities?

Good news & bad news: Contrary to what many people believe, it is not sugar that causes cavities! Cavities or tooth decay is caused by bacteria – but bacteria does feed on sugar.

How long should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth for 2 minutes, and brush gently but thoroughly rather than fast and hard.

How can I prevent cavities?

Good oral hygiene is crucial to preventing tooth decay. Regular brushing and flossing of teeth remove bacteria and the left-over food particles that combine to create cavities. This applies to children too. Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.

How should I care for my baby’s teeth?

Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. Formula and juice contain sugar that feeds bacteria. Clean and massage an infant’s gums once a day to help with teething and improve the chances of healthy teeth growth. Once teeth have erupted, though, use wet gauze around a finger or a clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums or use a soft toothbrush and very little non-fluoride toothpaste until the child is able to spit. After that, use fluoride toothpaste.

Which toothbrush is the most effective?

The one you use! Both electric and manual toothbrushes are fine, as long as you concentrate on cleaning the whole mouth and brush the correct way.

What is tartar?

Tartar is plaque (bacteria) that has hardened on your teeth because of binding with minerals in your saliva. It can only be removed by a professional with specialist equipment

How often do I need to visit the dentist?

Visit your dentist every 6 months, and also have your teeth professionally cleaned then. These visits are important as preventive dentistry too, for example for oral cancer screenings which are routine when visiting us.