The mouth is full of bacteria. There are good types of bacteria and bacteria that is harmful to your teeth. These harmful bacteria won’t make you sick necessarily but can cause cavities. So why are the harmful bacteria even there?

When a person eats starches and carbohydrates, they break down into sugar. The bacteria feeds on these sugars, creating acid. Having a lot of this acid in your mouth, in addition to the bacteria, can lead to some serious teeth problems.

The Creation of Cavities

There are two things that this acid does in your mouth. First, it destroys the enamel on your teeth, the protective outer barrier of the teeth. Second, the bacteria build and can cause a bacterial infection that eventually turns into a cavity. So, while the sugar itself may not be harmful to the teeth, it does lead to the destruction just by being in the mouth for too long.

The way this works is that it builds into plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky, yellow substance that forms along the gumline and edges of teeth. Because it is so sticky, the bacteria get stuck and holds against the teeth, weakening the structure. Once the enamel is weak, the bacteria create a hole, or cavity, in the tooth. The bacteria then go inside and continues to cause decay and damage to the tooth.

The best way to control the amount of plaque on your teeth is through basic dental hygiene. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day, focusing especially on the gumline. Flossing the teeth is important to remove the plaque between the teeth, in those hard-to-reach areas that brushes can’t always reach.

If the plaque is left for too long, it turns into tartar. Rather than sticky yellow substance on the teeth, tartar is a hard brown layer that forms, becoming even harder to remove. Making two visits a year to the dental office is also important because hygienists are trained to remove plaque and tartar with their tools.

Giving Your Teeth a Helping Hand

People wonder if sugar and carbohydrates should be removed completely from their diet to protect their teeth. The answer is nobody needs to do anything so drastic for the sake of their teeth. Cutting down on sugar helps but working on better hygiene and strengthening the tooth enamel helps more to improve the quality of your teeth.

Having a diet high in calcium and phosphates strengthens teeth. Letting the teeth bathe in minerals from washes and healthy food helps re-mineralize your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum, high-fiber vegetables and fruits, and plenty of dairy helps to stimulate saliva flow that covers the teeth in minerals too.

Green and black teas have elements in them that help control oral bacteria too. Cutting down on meal frequency and drinking more water can also help limit how long the acid is in the mouth and on the teeth.

One of the most important minerals is fluoride. Some cities put fluoride in the water supply while others do not. Some pediatric dentists and family dentists will recommend children will get a fluoride supplement to take. The best option for teens and adults is to use a great mouth wash and toothpaste that contain fluoride.

Ultimately, make sure that you are mindful of the sugar in your diet, your dental hygiene, and have regular dental visits. If you are looking for a Northport dentist, give For the Perfect Smile Dentistry a call. We are happy to help you keep your teeth strong and healthy while still enjoying the sweeter parts of life.