The Main Culprit of a Cavity and How to Tackle it

Senior woman in the dental office.

Senior woman in the dental office.Every time you go to the dentist, they tell you to floss more. While this is sound advice that you should take, most people do not comply. A cavity does not go away. A cavity does not heal. Ignoring a cavity leads to tooth decay, infection and even tooth loss.

Our mouths are a watering hole for bacteria. These bacteria live off of the food we put into our mouths. When we skip the brushing, the bacteria will sit on the food particles over- night and consume until they reach parts of tooth enamel. They tear away so much, that a dentist will notice instantly and suggest a tooth filling.

Sugar is the biggest culprit. Bacteria likes sugar the most, which is why dentists always recommend to stay away from it. If you cut back on sugar, you’ll reduce the risk of cavities and tooth decay. After drinking a Coca Cola, bacteria will turn that sugar from the soda into acid, making it more harmful for teeth. Look for these ingredients in what you’re consuming and try to avoid them. Other names for sugar include:

  • Glucose
  • Dextrin
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Syrup
  • Invert sugar
  • Molasses
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Sucrose

Sugar is found the most in soft drinks, energy drinks and sports drinks. Sports drinks are interpreted to be healthy, but most contain as much sugar as soda. Fruit drinks also may seem healthy, but orange juice contains one of the highest amounts of sugar. Be sure to read labels to refrain from over- consuming.

The recommended amount of sugar in a diet is 25g a day. Coca Cola contains 44g. That’s almost twice the amount of the recommended daily intake. On dietary labels, they don’t include the daily percentage, so remember the numbers and educate yourself.

New school meal regulations, issued by the USDA, boost the quality of nutrition that children are receiving in school lunches. The new regulations ensure that:

  • Both fruits and vegetables are offered to students each day
  • A greater portion of lunches consist of foods that are rich in whole grains
  • Full-fat milk options have been eliminated
  • Calories are limited based on the age of children to ensure proper portion size
  • Chefs focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium offered in school meals

Adults need to be responsible for their diets as well. Limit the intake of sugar, but also care for your teeth and reduce the risk of cavities. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss as often as once a day, keep sugar to a minimum and include healthy foods and water in your diet.