Dentist Guide to Cavity-Free Teeth: Foods to Avoid

A mix of colorful sweetsWe all know that a big part of your oral hygiene has to do with regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and making sure you visit your dentist.  However, while these things have a huge impact on keeping your teeth and gums healthy, there are other things you need to do in order to make sure your mouth stays cavity free.

One of the most helpful things you and your family members can do is avoid the foods that cause cavities in the first place.  While brushing and flossing may help control the amount of damage these types of food do to your teeth, they are not able to completely protect your teeth from potential damage. By avoiding these types of food, you can help stop the damage before it begins.

There are basically three types of food that cause cavities.  The first is carbohydrates (including and especially, sugar).  When carbohydrates come in contact with your teeth, it activates the bacteria that live inside your mouth. Exposure (especially prolonged exposure) to bacteria is what causes cavities to form in your teeth.

The second type of food that causes cavities is sticky food. Since sticky food tends to, obviously, stick to your teeth. The prolonged contact between the food and your teeth can, once again, cause the bacteria to not only activate but to remain in constant, problem creating, contact with your teeth.

The third and final food group that is the major cause of cavities is acidic foods.  This includes citrus foods (such as lemons) and juices.  While acidic foods do not activate bacteria, they do eat away at the enamel on the teeth.  Since the enamel is the protective layer on your teeth that prevent cavities, when it is weakened, your teeth become more cavity-prone.

Since a life without carbs, sugar, and acidic foods might not sound tempting, the best thing to do is make sure the foods are eaten both in small portions and all at once.  It is much less harmful to eat some carbs at lunch then to continuously drink soda or juice throughout the day.  It is also important that you immediately brush your teeth after consumption.  By reducing the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to these types of foods, you can help limit the amount of damage they can cause.