Did you know that tooth decay (cavities), is the number one chronic illness in children?
The good news is, tooth decay is preventable!
Proper oral hygiene and choosing healthy food and beverages can help prevent cavities from forming. It is recommended by the American Dental Assocaition (ADA) to brush 2 x daily for just two minutes each time. By brushing for the entire 2 minutes, that allows your toothbrush to reach the entire inside, outside and biting surfaces of the teeth.
But, what about in-between the teeth? The contacts between are teeth are too tight for even the smallest tooth brush bristles to get into. Using some form of floss, go-between floss sticks, or the floss string, are great tools to reach the areas between the teeth the tooth brush can’t get to.
Great oral hygiene is the first step to preventing tooth decay, but one of the biggest contributing factors to dental decay is the food and drinks we consume. Cavities form when a carbohydrate (including sugars) is combined with plaque (bacteria in the mouth). An acid is produced which will attack the teeth and eat away the enamel.
In dentistry we have a saying, “Sip all day, get decay”. Studies show that it isn’t the amount of carbs you consume that cause decay, it is the FREQUENCY of times your teeth are exposed.
Liquid sugars, such as sodas, juices and sport drinks are some of the most common contributing factors. Other factors include snacks like pretzels, chips and candy. Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes. With every bite or sip you take, the 20 minutes re-starts. If you are continuously eating or drinking, your saliva never has a chance to neutralize the pH in your mouth, putting you at an increased risk of cavities.
If you have any questions about your oral hygiene, please do not hesitate to call. Make sure to visit our office regularly for routine preventive care so that any problem areas can be addressed early, when conservative treatment is most effective.