. Perhaps one of the testimonials to the sad state of our dental health is that very familiar TV commercial where a child rushes to his or her father, interrupting whatever professional occupation he is engaged in, to shout, daddy, daddy, guess what, I only had one cavity. A cavity every six months means that the child will have had cavities in most of his teeth when he reaches 21.
Cavities are not unusual. It is the result of the interaction of many causes such as inherited susceptibility, inadequate fluoride in the water, excessive sugar in the diet, poor nutrition, and poor dental hygiene. Whole families may have cases of bad teeth for no apparent reason. Rules of good dental health must still be strictly followed even if your grandfather may have a good dental history. He may have lived in an area where the water supply was naturally high in fluoride. He hardly ate anything sweet between meals. Salt water and tooth powder were probably his tools in keeping his teeth clean.
Your heredity should not limit you from doing other things. By asking the government to fluoridate the water supply, your children may receive better protection from dental diseases. Cavity prevention is increased when one drinks fluoridated water. Osteoporosis can even be prevented because of fluoridation.
Foods with lots of sugar should as much as possible be avoided. Avoid sugar in sticky forms such as pies, caramels, chewing gum, sugar coated cereals. Plaque found on the teeth and in crevices between them are the starting point for cavities to form. Plaque is responsible for the presence of bacteria that corrodes teeth. Table sugar forms the food of the bacteria.
Studies in several countries have shown that if sugar is eaten during a meal, caries is not as much a problem as when it is consumed between meals, especially in sticky forms. Mothers from Britain have gone to the habit of letting their infants suck from pacifiers with a small amount of syrup. If you still aren’t convinced, you should know about a medical curiosity that makes the same point.
Hereditary fructose intolerance is a disease that affects certain families. After eating fructose, these people start to feel very sick. These victims keep away from food with sucrose. Though they eat food with carbohydrates, they don’t have so many cavities.
The frequent occurrence of cavities in Western nations is a result of sugar consumption. You should recall that all parts of the mouth are sensitive to your nutritional state. For proper tooth formation and dental health, you need adequate protein, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as other vitamins and minerals. Your gums can be stimulated from eating harder foods.
It seems pretty obvious now the need for regular dental check ups as well as regular brushing. Otherwise, you could be looking at a bleak dental future.