Can anything else affect my susceptibility to decay?

Genetics

There is a significant percentage of the population; who by no faults of their own, are born with teeth which have narrow grooves and pits. In these situations, plaque which collect in these narrow crevices cannot be removed, even with thorough brushing. Fortunately, preventive treatment is available whereby the deep narrow pits and grooves are opened, cleaned and sealed over. This is done so that future plaque deposits collect above these preventive sealants and are therefore accessible to the toothbrush. This in turns help facilitates effective cleaning and maintenance; thereby minimising decay formation.

Age

Children with newly erupted permanent molars, who because of their age tend not to be able to brush too well. In this group of individuals, their lack of dexterity means that plaque left behind on the grooved surfaces of the teeth can promote decay. And as adult/permanent teeth are required to serve us throughout our lifetime, their preservation is of utmost importance. It is therefore commonly advised in children over 6 years of age that a protective sealant be applied over deep pits and grooves of their adult molar teeth, as a preventative measure against decay.

With age, saliva flow tends to decrease and saliva quality reduced, and hence in the elderly age group, root decay is quite common. It is therefore suggested that those who fall into this group visit their dentist more regularly for follow up maintanance and fluoride treatments. Home use of fluoridated gels or rinse may also help, as does chewing of sugarless gums.