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Cavities are Caused by more than Candy

Posted on 5/23/2015 by Truman Nielsen
A young girl drinking orange juice with a straw. When you think of cavities, chances are you think of candy as the culprit. While you are not off base, it is not the only reason you can be subjected to tooth decay.

There are many surprising things that we all consume on a daily basis that cause tooth decay. Take a look to see just what might be causing your decay and change your diet accordingly today!

Carbohydrates
The fact that carbs cause tooth decay does not mean that you have to go on a no carb diet, but it does mean that you should minimize the refined carbohydrates that you eat. This includes the obvious foods, such as chips and crackers, but also includes less obvious foods, like rice, pasta and potatoes! While it is perfectly acceptable to eat these foods in moderation, you should try to focus on other whole foods. The problem with carbohydrates is that they are quickly turned into sugars in your mouth, weakening your enamel and causing tooth decay.

Drinks
Do you drink juice, soda, or alcohol? Guess what? They can all cause cavities. The sugar content in most of these drinks is higher than many of the foods that you eat. The problem with drinking your sugar is that you are basically bathing your teeth in sugar. This means that every tooth in your mouth is subjected to the sugar not only while you chew, such as would be the case with food, but for 30 minutes or more afterwards as liquid just sits on your teeth. The next time you reach for a beer, hard liquor drink, or soda, think of the sugar you are putting in your mouth.

Eating too Frequently
Sometimes it is not what you eat, but how often you eat that causes cavities. If you are a "grazer," meaning that you eat throughout the day rather than eating a full meal, you put your teeth at higher risk for decay. This is because your saliva production is not very high when you are just snacking, but when you eat a full meal, you produce more saliva. The greater amount of saliva in your mouth, the more likely it is that food debris and bacteria is washed away from your teeth. If you do snack frequently due to a busy schedule, at the very least, make sure to consume water with it to help the food and debris be washed away from your teeth.

Rather than focusing strictly on your sugar consumption, such as candy and cakes, focus on what you eat throughout the day. Read labels to see how much sugar is in the items that you eat or drink and try to minimize the consumption. You might be surprised to learn about the amount of sugar that is in every day condiments, dressings, drinks, and packaged products. Food manufacturers add sugar or variations of it in order to make products taste better - especially diet products.

When you become a more informed consumer, you can control the amount of sugar that you consume, benefiting your physical body as well as your oral health. Remember, however, that it is not just the sugar that you consume, but how often you are eating and drinking. As an added precaution, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day or after every time that you eat, if you are able. If you cannot get to your toothbrush, chew sugar free gum to help stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth and teeth healthy.

If you are worried about tooth decay, please us a call today to make your appointment!
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2204 E 29th Ave Suite 208
Spokane, WA 99203

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