WHAT CAUSES CAVITIES?

WHAT CAUSES CAVITIES?

By Dr. Karan Rai, Paediatric Dentist, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi

Most of you would have heard from your elders that eating sugar could lead to cavities in your mouth. Rightly so. Sweetened foods and liquids are usually the primary suspects leading to tooth decay. However, sugar may not be the only culprit.
Let’s understan

it this way. In a healthy mouth, there are some bacteria that are good and some which are bad. Certain bacteria or germs love to eat carbohydrate-rich food such as juices, sugary cereals, milk, cookies. They also love sugar from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

After you eat these, small bits of these happen to stay around in your mouth for long. This is what the bad bacteria tend to feed upon.

When the bacteria digest these carbohydrates, an acid is produced that combines with saliva to produce a sticky layer that sticks on to the tooth’s surface. This is called ‘plaque’. Plaque, if left in the mouth for a longer time, starts to rot or decay the enamel of teeth, ultimately causing extensive decay and pain.
So, what should you do?

A simple preventive measure of rinsing your mouth with water, or better yet, brushing your teeth every time you eat your meal, could keep these bad bacteria away.

Also, taking more time in eating your food (eating food while watching your favourite cartoon or show) is not a very good habit. This can cause more damage to your teeth.

So, just remember to brush your teeth after meals, especially at night, and keep a regular checkup with your pediatric dentist every three months so that you know that your teeth are in a healthy condition.

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