Cavities cause pain when eating or drinking something cold, but how do they start? A commonly thought answer is sugar, but that’s not the real reason. According to Carifree, sugar is not what causes tooth decay; cavity-causing bacteria is, while sugar is just the fuel. The larger your consumption of sugar, the more enamel demineralizing acid that bacteria spews out. These bacteria are not much of an issue for those with a low bacteria count, but the only way to know your bacteria count is to see a dentist and test for it. Your dentist may give you ways to decrease the bacteria, but more often than not, they’ll tell you to stop eating so much sugar. Here’s how to decrease cavities without having to give up your favorite desserts.
1. Choose Wisely
Not all sweets are the same caliber. Candies that slowly dissolves, are sticky, or contain added acids can cause more damage to teeth. Long-term exposure can quicken the decaying process, so choose an alternative. For instance, chewy fruit candies have citric acid, so choosing chocolate may be the better decision. Even if you decide to eat candy with added acids, try to keep consumption low.
2. Forget About Acid
Soda, fruit drinks, and sports drinks all contain large amounts of sugar and acid. Drinking these often is like allowing someone to constantly punch your teeth, so minimize your time drinking them. Doing so will help avoid acid erosion and create a healthier smile. Large consumption of these drinks can lead to rough, chalky-looking teeth. Regulate your time with these drinks by only drinking them during meals, and you must absolutely never sip. Those small sips are the death of a beautiful smile.
3. Watch Your pH Levels
One of the best ways to eat sugar and maintain a healthy smile is to keep your pH levels in check. Your pH level is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in your body on a scale of 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral and where you want to be. Cut back on acidic foods, and eat alkaline-producing foods like fruits and veggies. Also, drink plenty of water.
pH Balancing Mixture
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8-12 ounces water
1. In a cup, mix lime/lemon juice with baking soda in a cup. Foam will form.
2. After foaming stops, add water and drink.
Written by: Bryce Ethridge