As young children we were warned about the harm that sugar can cause to our teeth. While this is still true, decay can also come from other food sources. The good news is that tooth decay is the most preventable disease.
Tooth decay is the result of acid attacks on the enamel. If the acidic attacks occur too often, and in high doses, it can break down the enamel. When the enamel is broken down, decay begins and continue to grow in the tooth until it is removed. Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in our bodies. It is made to be tough against its environment. Unfortunately, it does have a limit to its toughness.
The body converts any sugar that is consumed, into acid. Carbohydrates also break down into sugar, which then converts into acid. Some common food sources would include:
*Crackers, chips, cookies, pastries, candy, sports drinks, juice, hard candies/mints, and pop(including diet)
Crackers, chips, and cookies are a concern because the sugar gets pushed into the deep grooves on the teeth during chewing. It can be very sticky and not removed easily with a toothbrush. Resulting in a potential area of decay on the biting surface of the teeth. Sugar in liquid form flows between the teeth. This leaves sugar in between the teeth. The toothbrush is too big to fit there. Floss is the best at removing the sugar. This is why flossing is so important to prevent decay in between the teeth.
Rare occasional treats are acceptable. We just recommend that brushing and flossing are cleaning your teeth daily. Frequent sugar/acid attacks on the enamel will lead to tooth decay. Replacing sugary drinks with water as often as possible is a better choice. Reducing sticky carbs and sugary treats with fruits and vegetables will help to keep your teeth healthy.