Daily, careful brushing and flossing are important for preventing cavities and gum disease. Heredity has also been shown to play a part in how healthy a person’s mouth is as well. However, an often overlooked way to improve the health of one’s mouth is to avoid sugar and processed foods.
Cavities are technically called dental caries. Cavities are caused by bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. This bacterium lives in the mouth and grows from sugar and other carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are present in the mouth, an acid is produced that dissolve the enamel of teeth. This is what causes tooth decay.
Several years ago, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) sponsored a screening of third grade children in a New Hampshire public school. They found that 52% had tooth decay of any kind and approximately 22% had untreated tooth decay.
One reason for the problems in children’s dental health is that they consume large amounts of soda. In a study conducted between 1971 and 1974 involving 3,200 Americans between the ages of 9 and 29, a direct connection was established between soda and tooth decay.
Studies have conclusively shown that children who consume soda are at a higher risk for cavities. Fluoride has proven ineffective for preventing tooth decay.
The evidence about soda shows that sugar is not the only culprit in tooth decay, however. Soda contains acids that have been shown to dissolve tooth enamel and weakens teeth to the point where they are more prone to decay.
There are other lifestyle choices that make dental health poorer than necessary. Smoking and lack of brushing and flossing are the main reasons for tooth loss and decay in adults. Studies have shown that smoking causes both tooth decay and tooth loss because it blocks blood flow to the gums.
There are mounting concerns about the safety of consuming fluoride. For this reason, many people are choosing to fight tooth decay naturally without fluoride. Here are some guidelines for fighting tooth decay naturally.
1.Brush and floss a minimum of two times per day. It is especially important to brush after eating sweet foods.
2.Brush with a toothpaste that contains casein, natural mint extract, and Xylitol.
3.Consume large amounts of calcium-rich foods. Stay away from all refined sugars. Drink adequate amounts of water and eliminate fruit juice and sodas.
4.Drink green and black tea. Frequent consumption of green tea or black tea reduces plaque build-up and also suppresses bacteria levels in the mouth. Do not add sweeteners, milk, or cream to the tea.
5.Keep your toothbrush clean. The bacteria that are the main cause of cavities can grow on a toothbrush. A few times a week, disinfect your toothbrush by boiling it in saltwater for about a minute. Toothbrushes should be replaced every month.