When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities. Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat. Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet and starchy.
Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy. Sweet and starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and crackers. The longer these things interact with your teeth before you have the chance to brush and floss away their residue, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur.
For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat at work or school where you may not have access to a toothbrush, increases the amount of sugar that coats your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment within your mouth and putting your teeth at risk for decay.
To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:
If you are able to diagnose tooth decay early on, there is a much greater chance that our specialists will be able to reverse your oral health with specialized treatment plans and avoid more serious procedures later on. Unfortunately, tooth decay begins with almost no symptoms at all. But there are some tell-tale signs that will begin to show as the decay grows.
Warning signs of tooth decay:
And, as always, make sure to schedule regular visits with us at Reimels Family & Cosmetic Dentistry so that we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of tooth decay when damage may be easily reverse through one of our individualized treatment plans! Call us today at 704-948-1111 or schedule an appointment HERE if you are worried about tooth decay or are past due for your regular cleaning!