If asked what the most significant cause of cavities is, many people would probably say sugar. After all, most of us have been warned for all of our lives about the dangers of eating candy and rotting teeth. While saying that sugar is the main cause of cavities would be false, it wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Understanding the link between sugar and cavities, as explained by your Des Moines family dentist, can help you better protect your family’s smiles from the true nature of tooth decay.
Don’t Overfeed Oral Bacteria
You know the sticky film that you might find resting on your teeth once in a while? Aside from making your teeth feel odd and sometimes fuzzy, dental plaque hides over 600 different identifiable kinds of bacteria. When discussing cavities and tooth decay, the most notable mouth germ is Streptococcus mutans. The S. mutans strain of germs consumes carbohydrates, like sugar, from your meals and beverages, then converts them into lactic acid. When the acid is spread over your teeth, it depletes them of minerals, weakening the usually-strong layer of enamel that protects them. Eating sugar constantly creates a steady barrage of acid that quickly destroy enamel and expose teeth to cavity-causing germs.
It’s Not Just Sugar
The misconception that sugar directly causes cavities can lead many people to mistakenly believe that cutting sugar from their diet will protect their teeth. The truth, however, is that even without sugar to fuel them, S. mutans bacteria can still metabolize other carbohydrates. Also, acidic foods and drinks can have the same effect on your enamel whether or not oral bacteria produce acid. The best way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice every day, and visit your Des Moines family dentist at least once every six months for a periodic dental checkup and cleaning. Although, practicing restraint when it comes to snacking is an enormous help, also.
About Your Des Moines Family Dentist:
Dr. Jessica Johnson is a dedicated family dentist who focuses on overall oral health and the value of preventive dental care for your whole family. Dr. Johnson is a member of the American Dental Association, the Iowa Dental Association, the Des Moines District Dental Association, and the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Valley Ridge Family Dental gladly welcomes patients and their families from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and all surrounding Des Moines communities. To schedule a consultation, contact us today by calling our office at (515) 223-9764.