Do you think sugar is what causes cavities in your teeth?? Think again!

There is a widespread belief that it is an increased consumption of sugar and substances that contain sugar, which is primarily responsible for incidence of cavities in the mouth. The fact is that sugars are not the prime culprits that are to be held responsible for the cause of cavity in the mouth. The principle agent responsible for this is an acid producing bacteria that creates the cavities and not the sugar or candy we eat. Children are often taught that eating more of candy, sugars and such foodstuff is to be avoided at all costs. The sugar by itself cannot be the cause of decay and cavity and it can be initiated from a range of foodstuffs. On the contrary, maintenance of dental hygiene is of utmost importance in ensuring that the teeth remain bacteria free and this good habit also reduces all chances of cavities from happening in the first place.

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1 Maintain good oral hygiene

What is important is to remember as well as teach every child is the fact that maintaining good oral hygiene is of critical importance. If food particles trapped between our teeth are left to rot there for a long period of time they are able to become the breeding ground for bacteria. It is this bacterium that produces an acid which corrodes teeth and forms cavities. So it is wise to remember that washing and rinsing the mouth thoroughly after food is eaten is the first and most beneficial step to prevent cavities in the first place.

Maintain good oral hygiene

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2 What happens with the bacteria inside the mouth?

Right after we have eaten something, the inside of our mouth becomes a veritable colony of bacteria and that spreads all over the mouth. A small amount of bacteria is quite a normal thing but a larger quantum is what is hazardous. Although not all types of bacteria are harmful to our dental health, it is the acid some bacteria produces that is cavity causing. The sole cause is not sugar at all but a range of food stuffs we consumer normally.

What happens with the bacteria inside the mouth?

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3 It is plaque that causes the cavity

The specific kind of bacteria that is the cavity causing kind releases a kind of acid which is able to latch on to the outer covering of the tooth surface. If not adequately cleaned they grow in quantity and are deposited on the enamel of the tooth and form something called Plaque. It is the plaque which is responsible for all the cavities created in tooth. This plaque forms a film around the teeth and often sugar acts a catalyst to help it latch on to the surface of the enamel. Once it has latched on to the surface, the saliva is unable to detach it from the surface. This gradual buildup ends with creation of cavities by eating into the enamel surface.

It is plaque that causes the cavity

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4 How does the damage occur?

The enamel on the surface of the teeth is quite a hard substance and is comprised mainly of mineral salts. It is the mineral salt which comes under the attack of the acids and causes salts to erode by making them brittle. When they break off, the undersurface of the teeth is exposed and then the acid causes the exposed area to get bigger and bigger until it forms a hole. This hole is then called a cavity and could result in teeth falling out or breaking off.

How does the damage occur?

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5 Reduce your intake of sugar containing foods

Although sugar by itself doesn’t create the cavity, it only makes it conducive for the plaque to do the damage. In fact the sugar content in certain food items such as the starch in potato chips can do more damage than a chocolate bar. This kind of starch strongly attaches to tooth enamel and stays longer and is not washed away by normal saliva. This adhesion to teeth enamel is the true cause for concern.

Reduce your intake of sugar containing foods

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So it is wise to remember that washing your mouth right after a meal is of prime importance. Brushing twice a day is also a must. Just adhering to these two is certainly going to reduce the occurrence of cavities in general. Also do not forget visiting a qualified dentist to ascertain how much damage has already been done and what medical treatments can be prescribed to keep future cavities away.

Take a look at some important pointers which can help you maintain good dental health.

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