Inside the mouth, hundreds of bacteria live along gum lines, on the teeth, and on the tongue. While certain bacteria are helpful, some team up with sugars and starches to create an acid-producing army, wrecking havoc inside the mouth. When teeth and gums are repeatedly punched in an acid attack, enamel begins to break down, and the process of tooth decay begins.
Most of us have heard of acid erosion. Many Americans on a daily basis consume acidic foods such as fruit, soda, juices, and wine. Over time, acids from foods and beverages thin the enamel of teeth, which changes their shape, texture and overall appearance. Sometimes, patients will report that their teeth are becoming sensitive. This is likely an early sign of acid erosion.
One one hand, there's plaque, which is a colorless bacteria. This sticky film works with sugary and starchy foods to produce acids. On the other hand are calcium and phosphate minerals, found in saliva. These work with fluoride from toothpaste and water to reduce the effects of acid and protect teeth.
Throughout the day, this cycle continues. Minerals are lost, in the acid attack, and then regained as acids are washed away with saliva, fluoride and water.
For all ages, there are ways to stop and even reverse tooth decay.
First, regular dental cleanings are important. Only a dental professional can remove plaque that has hardened on the teeth. Your dentist will check for early signs of decay, as well as show you proper brushing and flossing techniques.
It's also important to keep snacks between meals to a minimum. This will limit the amount of acid working against the teeth, and will allow the teeth time to regain minerals.
Reserving sweet treats (candy, cookies, sports drinks, sodas) for special occasions is recommended.
By limiting fruit juices to 4-6 ounces (1-6 years of age) and 8-12 ounces (7-18 years of age), you can greatly reduce the amount of acid attacking teeth.
DeSoto Dental welcomes patients of all ages, and we are committed to giving you the care you need to attack acid and prevent tooth decay. Your oral health and satisfaction is our primary objective. Please contact our office today!
Posted on behalf of DeSoto Dental