October 31, 2013 - Dental Tips and Advice
I’m sure everyone has been told by their dentist not to eat too many sweets because they cause cavities. Have you ever wondered why and how that happens? There are certain bacteria in your mouth that can cause cavities. These bacteria feed on dietary sugars and release an acid by-product. It is these acids that form holes in your teeth, better known as cavities.
While we aren’t asking patients to cut sugar out of their diet completely, a low-sugar diet with minimal snacking is ideal. Frequent snacking means cavity-causing bacteria are constantly at work. Reducing the frequency of snacking gives your mouth time to recover and neutralize the acid attacks.
There are certain treats that are more detrimental than others. Sticky and chewy treats such as caramel or raisins, stick to your teeth and expose them to sugars for long periods of time. Sour candies are very acidic, which contribute to the erosion of dental enamel. Apples and cheese are considered more teeth-friendly snacks.
In addition to a good diet, practicing good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are key to preventing cavities. Daily flossing helps remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Fluoridated toothpaste strengthens your enamel. Finally, your dentist can better diagnose cavities while they are still small. If caught early, your dentist can fill the cavity before there is damage to the nerve of the tooth. However, if the cavity is left for too long, it can lead to tooth pain and sensitivity, requiring root canal treatment or even tooth loss.
If you are due for a dental check-up, come visit one of our dentists in our central Richmond, BC office! Thanks for reading and check back soon!