How Does Dental Decay Occur?
Plaque & bacteria + sugar or starch= an acidic environment. Starch & sugar are broken down by bacteria in the mouth (a natural bacteria that is always present). A bi-product of this process is acid. The mouth goes from a basic or neutral environment to acidic environment each time food is consumed. This can soften the enamel of the teeth for 5-15 minutes each time food is consumed!
REDUCING THE RISK OF DECAY
Brush daily with a fluoridated toothpaste
Fluoride gel may be recommended when there is a high risk for cavities.
Follow Canada's food guide for Healthy Eating to find healthy choices.
Starchy foods (such as bread, cereal and pasta) are necessary for a healthy diet but choose healthy choices.
Minimize the time teeth are exposed to starch and sugar
Eat those foods with meals rather than snacking on them throughout the day
Substitute sugary snacks with sugar free gum and mints (especially made with xylitol). This can help reduce dental cavities by increasing the saliva flow
Drink high sugar beverages though a straw
Then rinse mouth with water and brush within 30 minutes.
Rinsing with water or chewing sugarless gum helps cleanse the teeth after a snack
If there was
there would be
Poor oral hygene
Frequent or prolonged intake of sugary foods (such as sucking a hard candy) Enables the bacteria to maintain an acidic environment on the surfaces of the teeth
The consistency of the sugary foods
Soft and sticky foods cling to the biting surfaces of the teeth and stay there until brushed off. Hard candy allows the saliva to flow around the teeth causing decay between the teeth as well as the front and back of teeth
Currently having one or more dental cavities I
Increases the risk of developing more
Decreased saliva flow (dry mouth)
Slows the clearance of the sugary liquid from the oral cavity