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How does tooth decay develop?

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a month ago
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Dental caries occurs in all age groups and is significantly influenced by our diet - what and how often we eat; how well we look after our teeth after eating and whether we use a fluoridated toothpaste. Inheritance of caries susceptibility also plays a role.

Tooth decay does not happen overnight, but over a longer period of time. Bacteria accumulate on the tooth surface and form plaque. The first visible signs are small white spots in the enamel - the so-called initial caries.


Without improved and appropriate oral hygiene measures and targeted fluoride application, the caries process continues to advance.


The enamel beneath the surface of the tooth is increasingly being dissolved out until the sensitive dentine is reached. In the advanced stage, the surface collapses and a hole is created.

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Caries prophylaxis - How can you protect yourself?


  • 2x daily brushing after meals
  • Fluoride-containing toothpaste gently and effectively removes plaque
  • Daily cleaning of interdental spaces with dental floss or interdental brushes
  • Daily use of a fluoride-containing dental rinse
  • 1x weekly application of intensive enamel hardening with fluoride gel
  • Professional removal of dental plaque by the dentist
  • Twice a year, check-ups with the dentist

How do you recognize tooth decay?

Everyone can regularly check their teeth themselves and see in the mirror if, for example, there are white changes in the enamel. These changes often indicate a mineral loss. Such mineral loss can usually be treated by a suitable fluoride therapy under the guidance of the dentist, even without drilling.

Why should you choose elmex?

elmex offers effective products for adults and children that meet their needs. They are ideally matched and reinforce each other in their effect.

For example, in the elmex toothpastes, tooth rinses and the once-a-week additional protection elmex gelée are particularly effective ingredients that remineralise the teeth and effectively protect against tooth decay.

The elmex toothbrushes enable effective plaque removal right down to the interdental spaces. In addition, the elmex interdental products optimize the cleaning performance between the teeth and thus considerably reduce the caries risk.

Caries Prevention - Measures to Protect

Dental caries is the most common disease in the world. In Germany alone, over 90% of people have tooth decay at least once in their lives. Under normal circumstances, the deciduous teeth and later permanent teeth grow well from the jawbone.

In the course of time, however, bad care and incorrect eating habits very often lead to tooth decay. Although caries can be promoted by hereditary factors, but is not a disease that is inheritable in general. This means that with the right measures to prevent tooth decay, the disease can be avoided.

Measures to protect against tooth decay

Caries can best be prevented by brushing your teeth regularly and thoroughly, and avoiding acidic and sugary foods. Drink sparingly with drinks such as lemonade, soft drinks and energy drinks, which often contain aggressive acidity and a lot of hidden sugar for your teeth. Honey is also predominantly sugar and should be used in moderation. Sugar is the food source of caries bacteria. Drink a lot of unsweetened teas and water, which stimulates the salivation and inhibits the development of bacteria.

Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day for at least 3 minutes. Optimal is in the morning before getting up and in the evening before going to bed. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after eating something that can damage the enamel.

Use dental floss and interdental brushes in addition to the toothbrush to thoroughly remove dental plaque in the interdental spaces and gum line. For example, fluoridate your teeth regularly with fluoridated toothpastes or dental gels. As a supplement to daily oral hygiene, antibacterial mouthwashes can be used.

Avoid smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products. The contained nicotine deposits on the teeth and also inhibits the production of saliva, which in turn promotes the settling of caries bacteria in the mouth and inhibits the natural defense mechanism. Who gives up smoking, contributes to a significant minimization of caries risk.

Visit the dentist regularly and take advantage of the check-ups taken over by the health insurance companies. Tooth decay can be detected at an early stage and treated in time and cured. Complete your appointment by a professional tooth cleaning with your dentist. Here, dental plaque and calculus are professionally removed, even in places that are difficult to reach and thus represent a risk factor. After thorough cleaning, the teeth are polished and provided with fluoride, which protects against caries. Many health insurance companies offer a cost sharing here.

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