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In your opinion, what is the biggest cavity-causing food?

This is kind of a loaded question.  Foods don’t actually cause cavities, although they can definitely help.  The best way to prevent cavities is to keep your teeth clean.  The biggest factor in causing cavities is how long the affecting agent is on the teeth.  Usually this agent is sugar which can come in many different forms.  For these reasons, I would say the most likely foods to increase cavity risk are sugary, sticky foods that can stay on your teeth for a long time.  Big surprise, chewy candy like caramel is likely to get in the grooves and crevices on your teeth and continue to do damage long after eaten.  One that people may not think of is bread.  It is high carbohydrates and tends to get stuck between teeth and in the grooves to aid in the break-down of enamel.

So why is sugar so hard on the teeth?  It’s a myth that sugar alone eats away at the tooth.  Instead, some of the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth feed on this sugar and produce acid as a by-product.  This acid is what can break down the tooth structure.  This is the reason some of the worst foods for your teeth are highly acidic, high sugar products like many sodas.  At the same time, by properly brushing and limiting the amount of time you are consuming these products you can still prevent cavities while enjoying your favorite foods.  So take care of your teeth so you can have your cake and eat it too.


Dr. H

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