As a mother, I remember hearing other parents tell their children that sugar will rot their teeth. I remember other mothers telling their daughters, “sugar is the leading cause of cavities and sugar is very bad for you!”
The fact is, the amount of sugar you consume is not related to the number of cavities you have. The truth is, the amount of sugar you consume is actually irrelevant. More importantly, the length of time that the sugar sits in your mouth is what directly contributes to cavities.
A Taste of Science
Sugar is actually broken down by a bacteria that causes tooth decay, and the by-product of the bacteria is acid, which promotes tooth breakdown. The mouth remains acidic for about an hour after sugar is consumed, and it is during this time that the teeth are susceptible to cavities.
After that time, saliva or water help bring the pH back to normal, neutralizing the acid. But if you keep re-introducing sugar on a regular basis, you increase your chances of tooth decay.
A Simple Solution
I am not making any guarantees this will work 100% of the time and please don’t quote me on this one. But if you are going to drink sugary drinks or eat sweets, I recommend rinsing with water or chewing sugarless gum to neutralize the acidic environment in your mouth.
I realize it may seem like a simple solution, but it works. Rinsing with water or chewing sugarless gum can actually help to reduce your chances of cavities.
More Myths About Cavities
If you are looking to further educate yourself about tooth decay and find a few other simple solutions to help reduce cavities, feel free to email me or leave a comment below. I’m happy to chat!