If you brush your teeth (or your child’s teeth) twice a day and don’t allow many sweets, you may be particularly frustrated when dental problems arise. For years the dental profession has focused on what are traditionally considered the two most important factors that cause tooth decay:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Sweet, sticky foods and sweetened drinks
These factors are all significant, but there is an additional very important factor:
- Frequency of eating and drinking
In addition to watching WHAT you eat, it is important to be aware of WHEN you eat and drink.
Each time you eat or drink something other than water, the environment in your mouth becomes acidic. This is particularly true with acidic foods and sodas, but it happens with other foods too!
If the mouth doesn’t have time to recover between snacks or sips, you may be making your mouth acidic for most of the day. An eating schedule minimizes this problem by allowing 2½ to 3 hours between eating times, with no food or drink except pure water.
This may be particularly difficult for parents of young children who are accustomed to having frequent drinks of juice or snacks. However, this may be the most important way to prevent tooth decay.
The dental professionals at Brighton Healthy Smiles will be happy to discuss this and other ways to minimize tooth decay for both adults and children. Call (810) 227-6567 to schedule a 6-month exam with our caring professionals to learn more about minimizing tooth decay.