May 19, 2017
Tooth decay is a serious problem. It is estimated that 92% of adults have had a cavity in a permanent tooth while 42% of children have had one in a primary tooth. The leading cause for tooth decay involves sugar consumption. Everywhere you turn, you are surrounded by potential cavity-causing foods. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to protect your family’s teeth from the effects of sugar. As your dentist in South Hadley, Dr. Leigh has the information you need to prevent tooth decay.
Risks for Tooth Decay
Our mouths naturally contain bacteria. When the bacteria are exposed to sugary foods, like cookies, candy, and soda, the bacteria turns the sugar to acid. As the acid sits on the teeth, it begins to slowly eat away at your enamel. Over time, tiny holes will form in the enamel to expose the dentin. At this point, a cavity has formed and you need immediate care from your dentist to prevent tooth decay from worsening.
Unfortunately, our teeth are constantly bombarded by sugar. Although many tend to believe it takes time for sugar to damage the teeth, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research shows that acids can begin damaging the teeth just 20 minutes after eating. The more sugar you eat throughout the day, the greater risk you are at for developing a cavity.
Preventing Tooth Decay
To protect your teeth from the effects of sugar, you need to make healthy lifestyle choices with the foods you eat. Eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, proteins, low-fat dairy, and grains. Avoid eating any sugary foods, especially those that cling to the teeth, like sticky and chewy foods. Always try to substitute water for other beverages, like soda and juice.
Choose foods that are known to help cleanse the teeth, like cheese and yogurt. This will help to protect the teeth in between brushing. If you cannot brush your teeth immediately after eating, rinse your mouth with water. Of course, you will indulge in a sweet snack every now and then. When you do, immediately brush your teeth.
Promote Your Oral Health
In addition to a well-balanced diet, you need to maintain your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. While you clean the teeth, the fluoride will help to strengthen your enamel to ward off cavities. You also need to floss your teeth daily to clean areas your toothbrush cannot reach, like in between the teeth and around the gum line.
You need to visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and checkup. We will remove plaque and tartar accumulations to reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. During the checkup, we will look for areas of weakened enamel to provide prompt intervention. We also offer many preventive treatments, like fluoride varnish and dental sealants, to reduce the risk for tooth decay.
If you need a preventive dental appointment, please contact Newton Street Dental. We will help to protect your teeth from the effects of sugar.
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