Avoiding Tooth Decay

The foods and drinks that you consume have a significant impact on the state of your teeth and gums. Tooth decay develops as the microbes that live in the mouth feed and create acids that dissolve your tooth material. The resulting holes that form in the teeth are called cavities and can lead to discomfort, dental infections, and eventual tooth loss.

In order to minimize the incidence of decay, dietary changes should be made. Here are a few types of food that are associated with dental decay and what you can do to limit decay-based damage.


Foods that contain large amounts of sugar can harm your teeth. The sugar in items, such as cakes and candies, supplies food for oral bacteria. The more food that the oral bacteria metabolize, the more acid that they produce.

Starchy Snacks

Foods that are high in starch are also damaging to the teeth. Items, such as chips and bread, are quickly converted to simple sugars as they are exposed to the enzymes in your saliva. 

Acidic Items

Food and drinks are considered alkaline or acidic based on their pH. Foods with a high pH are considered alkaline, and those with a low pH are considered acidic. The acid content of foods can dissolve the tooth enamel just as the acid produced by oral bacteria can. 

Food items that tend to be acidic include vinegar and citrus fruits. Additionally, acid can be introduced into the mouth by sodas and other carbonated drinks. 

Limiting the Damage

Although your teeth are subject to damage each time you eat, tooth decay is still avoidable. Here are a few things you can do to minimize the damage to your teeth. 

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque and bacteria from your tooth surfaces. Additionally, it eliminates the leftover food particles that feed the microbes. 

Brushing should be performed twice daily. Flossing should be conducted at least once per day.

Get a Fluoride Treatment

Your dentist can strengthen your teeth against decay by applying a fluoride treatment. The application coats your teeth with fluoride so that the substance can help remineralize the teeth.

Have Dental Sealants Applied

Dental sealants, which are made of plastic, form barriers between the surface of your teeth and oral acids. Applied as a liquid, the sealants are allowed to fill the grooves of the chewing surfaces of the teeth before they harden into place.

For more information about avoiding decay, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.