Oral Health Pt 2: Effects of toothbrushing, dietary sugars and acids

Sugar contained in Coca Cola

Diet is another big factor and has an undisputed link to our oral health with our mouths being directly connected to the digestive system. There are two main categories that dentists are generally concerned about, the first being sugar component and the second is acid intake. Sugar is the biggest culprit behind dental decay as it acts as the main food source for most bacteria found in the mouth. Bacteria produce weak acid directly onto tooth surface which it adheres to, and this acid is able to penetrate the tooth causing weakening of tooth structure from within. Availability of sugar will inadvertently modify the flora of oral bacteria and tip the balance towards proliferation of more virulent strains of bacteria which causes diseases, notably dental caries. Hence to improve oral health, it is important to limit availability of sugar present in the mouth. This can be done by decreasing general sugar intake and avoiding sugary food with extended oral clearance time such as toffee or dried fruits. These food are sticky in nature and do not come off tooth surfaces easily, generally requiring extra effort to remove.

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