Summer is just around the corner and with it comes ice cream, popsicles, sugary drinks, and other sweet snacks. For years now, we’ve been told that snacks full of sugar can rot our teeth, causing cavities and more. And as parents, you want to make sure you’re making the best choices for your children and their teeth. But is it just an old wive’s tale used to scare children away from sweets or is there some truth to sugar causing cavities? Here’s what we know.
What is a Cavity?
According to the American Dental Association, cavities, or tooth decay, the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth. Typically, this destruction is caused by a buildup of plaque. When plaque is left on a tooth for a long period of time, that plaque can cause decay, leaving a cavity in its wake.
Does Sugar Lead to Cavities?
Rest assured, sugar itself does not cause cavities. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to over indulge on the sweets, either. As with any food, our bodies have a unique process to breaking down and digesting sugar. In the process of digesting sugar, our bodies create a bacteria, which if left on the tooth can cause a buildup of plaque and eventually, cavities. The bottom line? It’s okay to enjoy a sweet treat here or there, but as always, practice moderation!
Ways to Prevent Cavities
You don’t have to give up sugar to prevent cavities! Cavity prevention is as simple as maintaining good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day, as well as floss. Don’t forget to finish off by rinsing with mouthwash as well! And as always, be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year.