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Tooth decay and cavities are harmful to any healthy smile. We want to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. Today we will be looking at some things that can harm your teeth, so that you can be proactive at prevention. The goal is to keep plaque off of your pearly whites. Plaque is that sticky bacterial film you can feel when you run your tongue along the back of your teeth, near the bottom by the gum line. Feel that? That is bacteria from the foods you eat that clings to your teeth, creating acids that erodes enamel.

Acid – If you like snacking or sipping drinks throughout the day, this alone feeds the bacteria in your mouth that produce acids all day long, allowing them to wear down tooth enamel. If you enjoy drinking soda or juice constantly, it can help to limit your intake and drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Rinse with water often, and drink it, to promote healthy saliva levels.

Sugar – Healthy foods like celery, apples, and carrots work with your saliva by being easy to remove from your teeth. The problem with sugary, or starchy foods is that they tend to cling to enamel, promoting tooth decay. Saliva works to wash away oral debris, working well with foods that don’t cling to the teeth. Milk, honey, soda, cookies, dried fruit, and chips are choices that saliva has trouble removing because of their sticky properties.

Location – Where your teeth sit in your mouth can make them more susceptible to decay. The molars, and premolars lie in the back of the mouth making them the most at-risk for cavities. They are hard to reach and consequently hard to brush and floss. This, combined with the pits and fissures on their surface where oral debris accumulates makes them vulnerable to dental caries.

Several other factors to be aware of include not brushing often enough, or not soon enough after eating, having dry mouth where you produce less than optimal amounts of saliva, and worn-out dental fillings.

What You Can Do

–Brush and floss daily

–See your dentist for periodic cleanings and exams

–Stay sufficiently hydrated

–Include healthy foods in your diet

–Limit snacking

To schedule your next dental cleaning with our dedicated dentists–a father and son team–Drs. David and Augustine Borgmeyer, please call our Borgmeyer Dental team in St. Louis, Missouri at 314-351-6554 today!