Are you familiar with sugar bugs? Hint: They are not actual bugs! However, they may be just as harmful. Sugar bugs is another name for plaque that forms on your teeth when you have poor oral hygiene habits.
Plaque is a thin, colourless to white/yellow, and sticky deposit full of bacteria that may form on your teeth when the food you eat combines with the bacteria in your mouth. Gross, right?
What’s even worse is that these deposits continue to increase over time until you can actually feel or see them on your teeth. They give your teeth a fuzzy texture. The bacteria continue to grow by feeding on the sugars you eat every day, producing acids that may break down the enamel (the tooth’s protective outer shell) and cause cavities.
What are Cavities?
No one wants to hear the word “cavity” any time they are at the dentist’s office. Cavities form when your teeth start decaying. The outer covering of the tooth (enamel) starts weakening and breaking down. Eventually, a hole is created, which can grow bigger and deeper over time. This is due to the plaque in your mouth, which contains bacteria that make harmful acids that can eat away at your teeth. That is why it is particularly important to get them repaired or filled before they reach all the way inside the teeth and reach the nerve endings. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds.
However, while cavities may sound really scary, there is a lot you can do to prevent them or reduce their severity if they do happen.
How Can You Prevent Cavities?
To prevent your teeth from getting cavities, you must adopt healthy habits and take your oral hygiene seriously. Here is what you can do:
Brushing and Flossing Every Day
There is no other way! You must brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day to protect your teeth. It will not only help keep the sugar bugs away but also can help make your teeth stronger. Use a fluoride toothpaste and an antibacterial mouthwash to finish the job.
Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Your food choices are critical. Eating too many sugary and starchy foods can speed up the development of cavities in your teeth. Sodas, sugary drinks, sweets, and chocolate are undoubtedly delicious, but too much of them will lead to those nasty sugar bugs in your mouth. Try to minimize your sweet intake and replace it with healthier options such as fruits and veggies. They prevent the build-up of plaque and help make your teeth healthier.
Drink A lot of Water
Yes, yet another reason why drinking water is so important. Water will not stop the formation of a cavity, but it can help wash away any food particles or bacteria in your mouth. Replace your sugary drinks with water during the day and feel an incredible difference. (You can tell your kids that water can fight off sugar bugs to get them on board!)
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
A regular dental check-up is a must for your whole family. You can get a thorough cleaning of your teeth or help identify a problem before it becomes too serious. Make sure that you get your cavities treated as soon as possible so they do not get worse. Your dentist can also guide you further on the steps you can take for your oral health. To book your next appointment contact Riverfront Dental at 519-621-2111 and keep your smile shining bright!