Growing up, we were always told “don’t eat too much sugar, it will cause cavities.” “Go brush your teeth, after eating sweets.” I’ve always wondered, does sugar really cause cavities? The simple answer is, yes.
The more complex answer is, that when you eat candy, or food high in sugar, the resident bacteria in your mouth enjoys the candy as much as you do. The bacteria or germs that live in your mouth consume the sugar and produce acid. The acid then starts dissolving the enamel on your teeth, which can lead to decay or cavities. Sounds yummy right.
The Bacteria in Your Mouth Enjoys Candy as Much as You Do
So, let’s put this into perspective; this happens anytime you eat any type of carbohydrate. This includes starches as well, since sugar is a carbohydrate, it ranks high on the list of what the bacteria likes to attack. Foods like breads, chips, peanut butter, pasta, and fruit all have the same effect on your teeth.
Softer teeth are more susceptible to acids, so they tend to form cavities quicker and more easily. There are ways to still enjoy your sweets and carbohydrates and still minimize your chances of cavities. How you ask? You must reduce the acid in your mouth. To reduce the acids in your mouth, you reduce the germs/bacteria, do this by brushing and flossing more. You should brush and floss well after each meal and snack, this will help to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. With less bacteria, there is less chance for acid. Less acid means less chance for cavities.
Use of fluoride also helps to strengthen your teeth; ask your dentist if you need to add fluoride tablets. Dentists can prescribe fluoride tablets if they feel they are necessary to help strengthen your teeth. Adults can also be prescribed a fluoride toothpaste by the dentist as well. The stronger your teeth are, the more resistant to acids they will be. If you have any questions or concerns, bring them up at your next check-up.