If the abundance of sugary treats available at Halloween awakens you with nightmares of tooth decay, you’re not alone – many people think of tooth decay when they see bowls full of candies and trays full of donuts and cookies.
But how does sugar cause cavities, anyway? Let’s start from the beginning.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is a breakdown of tooth enamel that only happens when foods containing carbohydrates (either sugars or starches) are left on the teeth. Harmful bacteria that naturally live in the mouth thrive on sugars and starches. When they consume these carbohydrates,these harmful bacteria produce acids that destroy tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.
Are Children the Only Ones With Cavities?
While children are at higher risk for cavities due to their diets and oral-care habits, adults are also at risk for developing cavities.
In adults, the areas exposed when the gums recede and also the areas surrounding old fillings are often the most susceptible to new cavities. These areas often provide the small spaces bacteria find ideal for growth.
How Can You Prevent Decay?
The following are some great tips for helping prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association:
• Brush your teeth twice a day.
• Clean between teeth daily with floss.
• Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
• Visit your bakersfields dentist (http://www.toothmagician.com/ ) regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
• Ask about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
Taking an Extra Step to Support Tooth Health
For those who want to ensure that harmful bacteria don’t get the upper hand in their mouths, oral care probiotics are a great way to keep those harmful bacteria in check. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are natural residents of your mouth. By boosting their numbers, you are helping them in their fight against the harmful bacteria. Beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria compete for both nutrients and places to live. When the beneficial bacteria have the upper hand, they successfully crowd out the harmful bacteria.