Sugar, Carbs and Tooth Decay
People have been warned by dentists, peers and parents about the dangers of eating or drinking too much of the sweet stuff. It’s a wise warning, but many people don’t realize that carbohydrates and starches can also lead to tooth decay.
Limit your sugar intake but also be aware of the risks associated with eating too many carbs, especially those from white-colored sources such as flower, rice and potatoes.
Tooth decay destroys the tooth structure and can affect both the outer layer of the tooth, the enamel, and the inner (dentin) layer of the tooth.
The process is accelerated when bacteria in the mouth feed on carbohydrate-rich foods such as breads, pretzels, cakes and cereals that have been left behind after eating. From that point on, the bacteria combine with food debris, acid, and saliva to form plaque, which sticks to your teeth.
With both carbs and sugar, it’s important to remember to minimize the amount of time your teeth are exposed to them. Continuous exposure throughout the day is much more damaging to your teeth than short term exposure. Your goal should be to lessen the amount of time that bacteria have to feast on your teeth, thereby cutting down on the aids they will be able to produce.
Of course, proper dental care is a big part of the equation. Rinse your teeth with water right after eating whenever possible, and be sure to clean them thoroughly by brushing and flossing.
It’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily, in addition to scheduling regular professional dental cleanings and exams.