Why do we get tooth decay?

The answer is we eat to much sugar and too much carbohydrates. These are the perfect food for the bacteria that cause tooth decay and poor diet when combined with poor oral hygiene, makes for a “perfect storm” to create tooth decay”. Let’s face it, we all crave sweets and carbohydrates and, like most of humanity, we refuse to eliminate them from our diet. That being said, there is a lot that we can do to mitigate the damage that sugar and carbohydrates do to our teeth and our bodies.

 

  • First we should attempt to eat a balanced diet that is not heavily dependent on carbohydrates and sweets , maintain good oral hygiene and get our teeth cleaned regularly.

 

  • Secondly, It is a good idea to limit our consumption of sweet snacks and sweetened drinks.

Snacking is probably the worst way to consume sugar products, since this prolongs the amount of time each day we are dosing our teeth with cavity causing sugars. When eaten as a desert with meals, sugar stays in the mouth probably for about 20 minutes, so worst case scenario, meals expose us to cavity causing foods for about one hour per day (3 meals=20+20+20 minutes). Also, the more refined the source of sugar, the worse it probably is for our teeth. (candy, white bread, potato chips, soda are not healthy for our teeth, nor our bodies) probably the worst drinks for our teeth are both acidic and sweetened, since when the ph of the mouth is lowered (more acid) it is more likely for enamel to erode and teeth to develop decay.

Ultimately, we exercise a great deal of personal control over whether we have “good teeth” or “bad” and it is probably unfair to blame our teeth problems on our parents, since our habits have more to do with what happens to our teeth than do our genetics. Although our parents do sometimes facilitate our bad childhood diets and poor hygiene habits, once we are adults the choices we make are our own responsibility and if you haven’t flossed this week, its probably a good time to take a moment to pick up some floss and start using it more often!