Sugars are the main cause of tooth decay
Tooth decay occurs when the hard outer enamel layer of the tooth is damaged. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms a layer on teeth. Most damage to tooth enamel is caused by acids produced by bacteria in the plaque using sugars as their main source of energy. The bacterial acid penetrates the tooth surface, and dissolves some tooth minerals like calcium, phosphate and fluoride. When this occurs over several months, the enamel finally breaks and holes (dental cavities) appear.
Tips to stop sugars causing tooth decay:
- Introduce a low sugar diet for your children early in life.
- Engage in healthy eating around children as they learn from what they see.
- Be aware of the amount and frequency of the sugar-containing foods that you eat and drink.
- Avoid eating long-lasting sources of sugars such as dried fruits, fruit leathers and hard or chewy sweets as these stick to teeth.
- Remember to rinse your teeth with water after consuming sugar-containing food or drink.
- Replace sugar-containing food and drinks with healthy and nutritious food options.
- Don’t let children sleep with a bottle or suck on a feeding cup for a long period of time.
High intake of sugars equals a high risk of diseases.
Eating a wide range of healthy and nutritious foods is the key to keeping your teeth for life!