October is Dental Hygiene Month, a great time to consider what you can do to improve your dental health.
Whether you get cavities depends on many things, including heredity, oral hygiene, fluoride exposure and your food choices. Carbohydrates in both starches and sugars mix with bacteria in your mouth to make acids that promote tooth decay. When you eat sugars or starches, acids begin to cover your teeth and a cavity-producing action continues for 20 minutes or more after you eat.
To reduce your risk of cavities, brush after you eat and floss to remove plaque and food particles. When you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth with water. This won’t remove the plaque bacteria but can help rinse away sugars and food.
Lindsey Hester, RD
The Memorial Hospital in Craig