The mouth is a normally moist environment inhabited by bacteria.  These bacteria do not normally harm the teeth unless they are exposed to sugars.  People sometimes mistakenly believe that as long as they avoid sugar, their teeth will not decay.  As a dentist, I have seen many people’s teeth decay and have restored countless numbers of decayed teeth.  Tooth decay is a menace that often progresses without a person’s knowledge and by the time they can feel the decay, it is often too late to treat with just a filling.  

If one wishes to prevent decayed teeth, one must understand that there are only two things that will not harm your teeth and these are air and water.   Although we need air and water to live, we must also eat food.  The reason that foods which people consider to be healthy actually cause decay, is that they get broken down into sugars in the mouth even though they are not considered a “sugary” food. Foods such as milk, apple juice, orange juice, French fries, rice, chips, pretzels, crackers, cheese and many other foods that we do not add sugar to will get broken down into sugars in the mouth.

The best defenses against decay are good eating habits and good oral hygiene habits. 

Eating habits that will reduce decay are as follows.  Eat only 3 meals a day and do not snack in between them.  If you must snack, have as few as possible.  If you have a snack, try to limit the duration of the snack to as short a time as possible; 15 minutes should be more than necessary. This reduces the amount of time the bacteria in the mouth can produce the acids that cause decay. Under no circumstances should one nibble on food throughout the day.  

Beverages need to be treated the exact same way as a snack and be consumed within 15 minutes.  Sipping a beverage over many hours is detrimental to the teeth and will certainly lead to decay in the mouth.

Good oral hygiene habits means brushing and flossing.  It is critical to brush at least twice a day: morning and evening.  Three times a day is better.  The best a person can do is to brush after exposure to any food or drink (except water).  This includes brushing after every snack or drink during the course of the day.

So if one eliminates snacks and beverages (except water) and brushes after any food or drink enters the mouth, one is doing everything possible to eliminate decay.

At Springs Dental, Dr. Mark Moskowitz examines the teeth closely using a high powered light with magnification, diagnostic lasers and digital x-rays to diagnose sometimes very advanced decay that is not visible to the untrained eye.  With over 30 years of experience in dentistry, he is a highly experienced, well-trained and very skilled dentist whom a number of other dentists come to in order to be well cared for by him.