With Halloween fast approaching, dentists everywhere are warning kids to brush their teeth and eat candy in moderation. But is sugar really the culprit when it comes to causing cavities? Believe it or not, the answer is a bit more complicated than you think.
What Causes Cavities?
We all know that cavities are caused by tooth decay, but how do they actually form? When you eat a food that contains sugar, the bacteria lingers in the mouth in the form of plaque. This plaque can wear away your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay and cavities if left untreated. In this sense, sugar does cause cavities.
However, this isn’t just true of candy and soda, the foods we typically associate with cavities. Any food containing sugar can cause tooth decay, including fruit. So how do we avoid cavities?
Dental Cavity Prevention
The key to preventing cavities isn’t to cut out sugar completely—that’s just not realistic for many people, and plenty of foods that contain sugar can be good for you. To your teeth, it makes no difference if you chow down on an apple or eat a candy bar. The end result will be the same.
The real secret to healthy smiles is to remove the plaque and bacteria as soon as possible through good oral hygiene. If you brush and floss right after eating sugary foods, it prevents the bacteria from building up and causing lasting damage.
If you suspect you have a cavity or have any questions about proper oral hygiene, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist. He or she will also be able to detect early signs of cavities at your regular dental checkups so you can change your hygiene routine before it’s too late. To make an appointment with a dentist, give Dr. Cabrera Dental Associates a call today!