Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities or caries, is the most common dental problem amongst children.
It can cause painful holes (cavities) in your teeth.
Cavities usually need to be drilled and then filled to keep the tooth decay from getting worse.
But doing certain things can help to prevent the need for treatment in the first place.
The most effective way to prevent tooth decay is by regularly brushing your teeth and strengthening them with fluoride.
Sticking to a healthy diet and not eating too much candy or sweets is also good for your teeth. Last but not least, dental check-ups can help detect and treat tooth decay early on.
Tooth decay is mainly caused by bacteria in the plaque that coats your teeth, and by too much sugar in your diet.
So limiting your consumption of sugary foods, drinks, candies and gum is one way to prevent tooth decay.
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Eating sweet things every once in a while is perfectly fine, though, as long as you still take good care of your teeth.
The trouble starts when teeth are in constant contact with sugary foods and drinks.
Toddlers may develop tooth decay faster if their bottle usually contains sugary drinks or fruit juice. Unsweetened teas or water are good alternatives.
One way to help strengthen your teeth is by getting fluoride in your diet, for instance from salt containing added fluoride.
Some other foods also have added fluoride in them, and many types of mineral water contain fluoride. Tap water in Germany contains relatively little fluoride.
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