How To Prevent Tooth Decay

What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental health problems. It affects people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. From very young children to seniors. But what are the common causes of tooth decay?

Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities or caries, is caused by several factors including:

Excessive consumption of sugary or acidic food and beverages

Frequent consumption of sugary or acidic food and beverages is a common cause of tooth decay. The bacteria that reside naturally in your mouth feed on the residues of sugary and acidic food and drinks, which are broken down into acids. The acids form plaque that can damage the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and a condition known as dental erosion.

Poor oral hygiene

Poor oral hygiene refers to behaviours and habits that result in the buildup of tartar, plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Irregular brushing of teeth, lack of flossing or not spending enough time when brushing are all examples of poor oral hygiene. This can lead to some of the following:


Gingivitis is an inflammatory condition of the gum tissue caused by the buildup of bacteria on the teeth. It is an early form of gum disease that has not progressed to the point of tissue or bone loss.


Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that causes damage to the gums and bone that can eventually jeopardize the health of your teeth.

Symptoms of tooth decay

Tooth decay can manifest itself in some of the following ways:

Sensitive teeth

Increased sensitivity to hot or cold drinks and food.

Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, may be caused by the bacteria that contribute to tooth decay.


Brown, black or white spots on teeth and molars

In addition to the above, if you experience any of the symptoms below you should also urgently make an appointment with one of our specialists, regardless of whether you’re a registered patient or not.

  • Loose teeth or molars
  • Bleeding gums during teeth brushing
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Recurring problems with tartar
  • Receding Gums
  • Regular occurrences of cavities
  • Pain when biting and chewing food

How to prevent tooth decay

So far we’ve covered the causes and symptoms, but what are the best ways to prevent tooth decay?

Example of tooth decay before treatment at Lassustandartsen

Tips and tricks to prevent tooth decay

You can prevent tooth decay by doing the following:

  • Use an electric toothbrush for two minutes at least twice a day
  • Don’t brush your teeth until a minimum of 30 minutes before or after eating, 60 minutes is even better
  • Floss at least once daily and use dental brushes or sticks to remove food deposits that get stuck between your teeth
  • Reduce the consumption of acidic beverages such as soda and fruit juice
  • Have a maximum of 6-7 consumption moments for food and acidic or sweet drinks

See an oral hygienist at least twice yearly

In addition to the tips above, the best method to prevent tooth decay is to regularly visit a dental hygienist. This is a good preventative measure to take to ensure the long-term health of your teeth.

We advise that you have a twice-yearly combined appointment with a dentist and an oral hygienist. The Dentist will check for any problems with your teeth, and the dental hygienist will clean your teeth and gums. After the cleaning, our dental hygienists will advise on how best to look after your teeth.

Preventing and quickly identifying tooth decay issues will ensure that you maintain your smile and prevent any health complications that can arise as a result of tooth decay.

top jaw teeth with excessive tooth decay