Every time you eat and drink, an acid reaction occurs on the enamel of your teeth, as the bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugars to produce acid. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acidic environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.
Consistency of a person’s saliva also makes a difference as thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars, they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn produces more of the acid-producing bacteria that causes cavities.
Some tips for cavity prevention:
- Limit frequency of sugary drinks and snacks.
- Encourage frequent brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
- Avoid sticky foods.
- Make treats part of meals.
- Choose nutritious snacks.