Saliva breaks starchy food down into sugar as you eat it. That’s a lot of carbohydrates, and the bacteria in your mouth turns carbohydrates into plaque.
The pasty substance this creates easily clings to the teeth, especially between them and in hard-to-reach areas in the back.
When choosing bread, go for wheat – it’s less refined and contains less added sugars.
Soda & Anything Highly Acidic
One of the main reasons plaque is so hard on your teeth is because it’s essentially acid. Well, what happens when you’re constantly exposing more acid to your teeth? The effects of tooth decay only amplify; it leaves your teeth even more vulnerable to the onslaught of plaque.
Acidic foods also usually contain a lot of carbohydrates, which feeds the bacteria responsible for plaque.
Sticky & Chewy Foods
These are super-villains when it comes to tooth decay. They cling to your teeth long after you’re done eating, especially between them and in places that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush and floss.
This kind of food being long-exposed to your teeth provides a long-term feast for bacteria, and thus more acidic plaque is produced.
Anything That Dries Your Mouth Out
Saliva is one of the main ways your body protects your teeth against tooth decay. Saliva helps wash plaque away and prevents it from clinging to your teeth. It may also prevent the early stages of tooth decay and gum disease.
The protective outer layer of the tooth is called the enamel. It’s a very hard substance – harder than bone in fact! That makes it the hardest substance of the body.
That said, it’s still vulnerable to acidic plaque and, yes, the constant crunching on hard food.
This kind of food can wear away at it over time, and when the enamel is worn away, plaque has an easy shot at the second layer – the dentin.
Once a hole is worn away in the dentin, you officially have a cavity. Unfortunately, there’s no natural way of repairing the dentin, and you’ll require a dental filling.
Alcohol poses a major threat for many reasons, all of which have been illustrated above.
- It is basically sugar.
- It’s highly acidic.
- It can dry your mouth out.
Drinking too much alcohol also invariably leads to the need to vomit, which is also incredibly hard on your teeth.
See Your Dentist for a Regular Exam & Cleaning
Seeing your dentist regularly is part of proper dental hygiene. Your dentist can see problems as they are forming, and it’s always better to stop the problem early rather than dealing with the hardships that come with advanced tooth decay and gum disease.
If dental decay and gum disease have set in, your dentist can perform a variety of services to repair and treat the problem. Whether it’s something as simple as a routine dental cleaning or a root canal, you shouldn’t wait for problems to get worse – that will only mean more problems in the future.