It has been almost a month since the Great Candy Binge of 2016. You know, Halloween. You certainly were vigilant about making sure your kiddos didn’t have too many sweets. And we know you definitely made them brush extra carefully after a few chocolates! But what about you, mom and dad? Don’t deny it. You stole some of the treats from the kids’ bags. It was a victim-less crime, you may have thought. “The kids will never know that I took a few!” You’re probably right. But your teeth know. Dr. Louise knows! *cue dramatic music*
Now we’re sure you’re very good about keeping on top of your oral hygiene. Brushing multiple times a day, flossing (cough cough). But remember—fall can get the better of us with all of the sweet treats, sugary lattes and fatty foods. The usual routine may not be enough to keep cavities away. Yes, even you are prone to them!
In this episode of Ask Dr. Louise, one of our viewers asks whether or not adults are susceptible to cavities in the way that children are. The short answer is yes!
Cavities are the 2nd most common disease in the world, trumped only by the common cold. 3 “ingredients” must be present in order for a cavity to form: teeth, bacteria and sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria, who then excrete acid which erodes the enamel of a tooth. This results in a hole or cavity. Enamel does not repair or regenerate itself, so cavities must be filled by a dentist. Leaving a cavity untreated can result in far worse (and more expensive) complications and infections.
That doesn’t sound too fun, right? Right. So do the right thing and make sure you’re brushing at least twice daily. And yes, floss! If you don’t floss, you’re missing 35% of each tooth’s surface area. That’s a lot of room for bacteria to get comfy.
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