You may be one of the many people thinking to yourself: I floss regularly and brush twice a day, yet I still wound up with a cavity, what gives? Well, that is a very good question that I will address today. Unfortunately, proper cleaning is only part of the ongoing battle against tooth decay. Genetics and proper diet also play an important roll in keeping your teeth shiny, white, and healthy!
Food can take its toll
Your teeth are being put to use constantly, day in and day out every time you eat. While your teeth are an amazing resource to aid in preparing food for digestion, food doesn’t always go down without a fight. Some foods retain certain acids that can impact the enamel on your teeth. Some foods you’ve probably (hopefully) heard are bad for your teeth your whole life, like hard candies and sugar, but some may surprise you:
- Citrus in fruits like oranges and limes
- Soda & alcoholic beverages
- Starchy foods like bread and chips easily get stuck in your teeth
- Sports drinks and fruit juices
- Popcorn produces a lactic acid in the mouth, when bits get stuck in your teeth they can be damaging
I’m not saying to avoid these foods altogether, but if you do fancy yourself a refreshing orange juice or love eating sandwiches try to drink lots of water to wash away any bits remaining. If you can, about an hour after you eat foods with lots of acidity and starch, give them a good brushing.
Genetics play a roll too
Not to sound too gross or anything, but our mouths are a wonderful habitat for all kinds living bacteria, good and bad. With good oral hygiene, the good will outweigh the bad, but sometimes our good ol’ genetics will predispose certain bacteria that causes tooth decay to be more prevalent. This bacterium is called Streptococcus, and it creates a more acidic environment in the mouth, increasing risk for tooth decay.
What can I do to prevent tooth decay?
Along with your routine brushing and flossing routine, the steps below will assist you in your battle against tooth decay: