Who doesn’t like a dessert? Eating is rewarding. While satisfying their sweet tooth, one should also remember this can lead to cavities. Harmful bacteria digesting the sugar in food produce acids. Acids produced by the sweets erode minerals from the tooth enamel; the protective outer layer of the tooth. This is called demineralization. Over time, repeated attacks like this cause loss of minerals from the teeth resulting in cavities.
Sugar reduces the mouth’s pH
Sugar acts like a magnet for bad bacteria. Sugar itself does not cause tooth decay, but the chain of events that take place after eating sugar causes tooth decay hijacking your oral health. Bacteria in the teeth feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque. If the plaque is not washed away it becomes acidic and cavities start forming. A pH of 7 is considered normal in the mouth. When it drops below normal due to plaque and cavities, acidity starts to dissolve the minerals thereby destroying the tooth’s enamel. Without proper treatment, cavities progress past enamel into deeper layers of the tooth causing tooth pain and even tooth loss.
Our saliva naturally reverses the damages which are called remineralization. In addition to this, toothpaste and mouthwash help the enamel to repair itself by replacing lost minerals during the acid attack. This eventually strengthens the teeth. By adopting regular oral hygiene one can maintain healthy teeth while also consuming more sweets.
Remineralizing tooth enamel
Key to a great smile is to keep your pearly whites in good shape. And the best way to do that is to take good care of the tooth enamel. This is a delicate outer covering that protects the inner tissues of the teeth. Chewing, sipping and chomping can wear away the enamel making the teeth sensitive to hot and cold food. When teeth loses its enamel, chewing your favorite sugary treats can result in a twinge of pain. Yellowing of teeth is a sign that your tooth enamel is wearing away.
While one cannot grow tooth enamel, they can always remineralize it. Oral care products help in putting the lost minerals like calcium and phosphates back into the mouth which helps in hardening the enamel. Drinking acidic beverages with a straw can help to push the fluid to the back of the mouth and away from your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum will help to boost saliva production in the mouth which will help to strengthen the teeth.
Choose oral hygiene products with ingredients like lactoferrin to protect the teeth from bacterial infections and dry mouth. Lactoferrin based mouthwash or toothpaste helps to strengthen teeth and remove dark stains.
The best protection for the mouth is your saliva. It contains minerals that can strengthen the teeth naturally. It also helps to maintain pH balance and keep the mouth less acidic which is a key factor in preventing cavities.
Practice good oral hygiene
Brushing the teeth twice a day helps to prevent tooth decay. When it is not possible to brush after every meal, using mouthwash is recommended. Choose oral hygiene products with ingredients like lactoferrin and peppermint oil which will help to fight bacterial infections. Use a mouth rinse to remove sticky residues.
Choose less sugary snacks. Fruits are a healthy option for those with a craving for sweets. Don’t like to substitute banana for a donut? Still, there are choices that can minimize the risk of cavities. For instance, you can choose a slice of pound-cake instead of taffies as this will not coat the mouth with sticky sugar. Eat sugary foods with your meals instead of having them in between meals. Using a straw when drinking sugary beverages will give your teeth less exposure to acid in the drinks. In addition to cutting sugar, stimulating the production of more saliva also helps the teeth to get minerals. Chewing sugarless gum and adding more raw fruits and vegetables to the diet helps the mouth to produce more saliva.
Taking good care of the teeth, eating healthy food, and practicing a regular oral routine are the best ways to win the war against cavities.
This article is intended to promote awareness of oral hygiene and is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment.