Tooth cavities and gum disease are caused by colonies of bacteria that constantly coat the teeth with a sticky film called plaque. If plaque is not brushed away,these bacteria break down the sugars and starches in foods to produce acids that wear away the tooth enamel. The plaque also hardens into tartar, which can lead to gum inflammation, or gingivitis.

  1. Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months.
  2. Never put babies or toddlers to bed accompanied by a bottle of milk (which contains the natural sugar lactose),juice, or other sweet drink.
  3. Permanent molars come in around age 6. Thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent decay in the pits and fissures.
  4. Brush twice a day.Toothbrushes should be changed at every 3 months. Use toothpastes and mouth rinses containing fluoride. A chronically dry mouth also contributes to decay.Saliva flow slows during sleep; going to bed without brushing the teeth is especially harmful. Floss your teeth daily.
  5. Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing cavities. 
  6. Avoid sugary sticky food.
  7. Quit smoking. It stains your teeth. Smoking can also raise your risk of cavities and oral cancer.
  8. Wear a mouth guard or full-face helmet when playing sports or driving two wheeler.
  9. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food. If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
  10.  Visit your dentist regularly.