It’s no secret that sugar is the major cause of decay, but many don’t realize exactly why cavities form from sugars that weren’t cleaned off the teeth by brushing or flossing. At OFR DDS, we think an educated patient has the best opportunity to maintain a healthy and cavity free smile.
How Sugar Leads to Cavities
There are both helpful and harmful bacteria living in everyone’s mouths. Good bacteria can be protective against excessive sugar while the harmful bacteria feed on sugar from sweets and food high in carbohydrates. As a result, acid is formed, deteriorating the tooth enamel. The cavity is a hole in the tooth that forms as a result of that acid eating away at the tooth. The cavities get bigger the longer the decay is untreated. This can eventually lead to more complicated procedures like a root canal or tooth extraction.
Preventing Cavities for Those with a Sweet Tooth
Traditional ways of preventing cavities have been widely discussed, but sometimes the simplest steps in prevention can be overlooked because of the waves of modern treatment methods being developed. For those who can’t help themselves and eliminate or drastically reduce their sugar intake, they can contribute positively to their oral health by also eating healthy foods rich in calcium like dairy products. The calcium helps strengthen teeth, but dairy products also contribute to an increase in saliva, which protects the mouth as well.
Thorough brushing and flossing go a long way toward removing the excess sugar from your teeth, but regular treatment with fluoride can actually help reverse the decay process. ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and rinses help eliminate the tough to reach plaque. Also, using these products regularly will provide a great foundation for patients looking to make more positive choices in regard to their smile’s health.
Regular Cleanings and Exams Provide Great Results
Besides a healthier diet, the most effective method for keeping tooth decay from excessive sugar intake at bay is to regularly visit your dentist for cleanings and x-rays. Preventive at-home care contributes to a healthier mouth but is not a replacement for regular visits to the dentist. The professional grade products and technology used at the dentist office has proven curative effects. Professional fluoride treatments while at one of your regular visits aid in revitalizing your oral health. For those with children, encouraging and supporting them to develop responsible oral health habits and ensuring they visit the dentist regularly will give them a healthier smile as they head into adulthood.
Contact OFR DDS to Have your Questions Answered
If you have questions or concerns about your dental health or that of your child because of excessive sugar intake over a long period of time, our dedicated staff in Annapolis can help you determine the right treatment path that will set you on a path toward a healthy and beautiful smile!