Tooth decay can occur when acid is produced from plaque, which builds up on your teeth.
If plaque is allowed to build up, it can lead to further problems, such as dental caries (holes in the teeth), gum disease or dental abscesses, which are collections of pus at the end of the teeth or in the gums.
Symptoms of tooth decay…
Tooth decay may not cause any pain. However, if you have dental caries you might have:
How plaque causes tooth decay…
Although tooth decay is a common problem, it’s often entirely preventable. The best way to avoid tooth decay is to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. For example, you should:
Establishing good eating habits by limiting sugary snacks and drinks can help your child avoid tooth decay. Regular visits to the dentist at an early age should also be encouraged.
It’s important to teach your child how to clean their teeth properly and regularly. Your dentist can show you how to do this. Younger children should use a children’s toothpaste, but make sure to read the label about how to use it.
Children should still brush their teeth twice a day, especially before bedtime.
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For more information on how to prevent tooth decay as well as tips on keeping your teeth healthy visit NHS Choices or the NHS Change4Life websites.
Treatment of tooth decay depends on how advanced it is.
Visit your dentist regularly, so early tooth decay can be treated as soon as possible and the prevention of decay can begin. Tooth decay is much easier and cheaper to treat in its early stages. Dentists can usually identify tooth decay and further problems with a simple examination or X-ray.
Find your nearest Dentist…
It’s also important to have regular dental check-ups. Adults should have a check-up at least once every two years and children under the age of 18 should have a check-up at least once a year.
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Cost of treatment…
NHS charges are set by the government and are standard for all NHS patients. Charges are assessed each year and usually change every April.