No, sugar doesn’t cause cavities, bacteria cause cavities. But, sugar digestion does create bacteria, which, if not properly managed, will lead to not just cavities but also gum disease and may even result tooth loss. Whenever we eat food, acids are created by our body to break down the food to assist in digestion. These acids demineralize our teeth. Thankfully, our teeth are re-mineralized by brushing our teeth, drinking fluorinated water, and even our own saliva. The bottom line? It’s ok to indulge in some sugary treats as long as proper care is taken to reduce the presence of bacteria that cause cavities.
To prevent cavities, you don’t need to give up sugar, but you do need to stay on top of good oral care. For both kids and adults, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily, using sugar-free gum between meals, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year.
Encouraging children to eat less candy can help prevent cavities but also has other health benefits. Establishing good dental health practices in kids is a proactive way to help reduce future health concerns, including improved heart health, lower risk of diabetes, cancer, stroke, and more.
Whether establishing a new routine, or getting back on track with cavity prevention and good oral health practices, Dr. Ben Johnson at Johnson Family Dental in Paducah is here to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment for the entire family at (270) 554-2432.