Tips on Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a preventable disease. Some good eating and home care habits will make a difference


  • Frequency of eating affects risk. No more than 3 main meals and 2 snacks
  • no more than 2 sweet drinks/snacks per day (preferably none)
  • Grazing (snacking in between meals) is bad for teeth
  • any fermentable carbohydrate can be turned into acid


  • sweet drinks (juice, cordial, flavoured milk, soft drink)
  • Milo or Quik (each 200ml serve has 20g of sugar = 4 teaspoons)
  • processed foods made with white flour and sugar (cakes, biscuits)
  • dried fruit
  • muesli bars, rollups, fruit sticks, fruit bars, LCM bars etc
  • starchy foods (chips, rice crackers, rice cakes, white bread)
  • lollies especially those held in the mouth for lengthy periods (eg Chupa Chups)

Preferred Snacks

  • fresh fruit and veges
  • cheese
  • wholegrain breads and biscuits
  • yoghurt (with limited added sugar)
  • nuts (if allowed) eg macadamias, pecans, brazil, walnuts

Preferred Drinks

  • water
  • milk


  • Brush twice daily – parent to brush until child is at least 8 years old
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste – think of it as “medication for teeth” to be applied twice daily
  • Encourage child to spit and rinse, then use the next age group of toothpaste
  • floss nightly

Visit your dentist 6 monthly

  • advice on how to prevent dental problems
  • early treatment to prevent bigger problems later