A trivia question for you: Each morning, when is the best time to brush your teeth?
- Before breakfast
- After breakfast
- Not necessary, brush only at night
In our recent blog posts you’ve read about how cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth. But how do bacteria create a hole in your teeth? Knowing the process can better help you make choices that will help you and your kids avoid cavities:
Some of the bacteria in our mouths consume sugar. The sugar can come from foods such as candy and cookies, but it can also come from bread, rice, juice and milk. The bacteria and the sugar independently cannot cause cavities, but the combination is the problem. When together in the mouth, these bacteria consume the sugar and turn it into acid. This acid, essentially, breaks down our teeth causing soft areas we refer to as cavities.
After eating, our saliva begins the process of cleaning the acid out of the mouth. Eventually our mouths return to normal and our teeth finally stop melting. Over a period of hours, weeks, months and years, these acid attacks can eventually soften the tooth to form what we think of as a cavity.
What does this mean to you? How can we use this knowledge to better avoid cavities? Two main take-away points.
- Try and limit the number of times a day you or your children have acid in their mouths.Since most meals have some carbohydrate component that will break down into sugar and create acid in the mouth, try and limit the number of times our mouths become acidic to our three major meals. Any mid-meal snacks are best planned as foods that won’t trigger this process: vegetables, popcorn, plain yogurt, etc.
- Brush your teeth AFTER breakfast, before bedCleaning your teeth after meals (including breakfast) will help remove any excess foods wedged into the grooves of your teeth, which in turn, helps to avoid a prolonged acid attack.
If you hadn’t gotten the trivia question correct, we’re glad you learned something new today! We’re here anytime to answer your questions and to help your families create the best lifestyles to avoid cavities 😀