Carbohydrates and Tooth Decay: How Carbs can cause Dental Caries?


Carbohydrates are sugary and starchy foods, which sticks in our teeth — and if you are not brushing properly, flossing, nor visitin your dentist regularly – the build-up of plaque can cause problems in your mouth.

What is tooth decay and how it is linked to eating carbs? What can we do to avoid getting cavities? Learn more about carbohydrates and tooth decay — and good dental hygiene tips — to help keep your smile sparkling!

The Process of Tooth Decay


The process of tooth decay begins with bacteria in your mouth.

Eating carbohydrates trigger the microorganism to make acid in your mouth. Acid dig into the protecting enamel layer of your tooth and begins to make a cavity. Once the cavity is made, it’s uphill to revive the structure of the tooth.

The foods that contain carbohydrates are those all kinds of rice, bread, fruits, and vegetables. So, does this mean you need to stop eating these foods? No! however, you need to just eliminate carbohydrates with a microorganism that causes cavities.

What makes the presence of microorganism forming acid could be a constant intake of carbohydrates into the mouth, like sugary drinks. sugary drinks, power drinks, and tasteful drinks can cause sticking carbohydrates within the mouth to combine with a microorganism, which forms acid.

If you fill your mouth with liquids that are slowly killing your teeth, you’ll eventually produce the acid that makes dental cavities.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay


Eat the right carbs

Avoid eating sticky carbs that cling to your teeth. If the food is stuck to your teeth it provides a constant source of food to the bacteria, causing more erosion.

Don’t let food stick around

Rinse out your mouth and floss after eating. Don’t brush immediately after eating though, since that makes the acid action that’s taking place on your teeth worse.

Reduce the acidity of your mouth

You can do this by chewing gum after a meal, this stimulates the production of saliva, neutralizing the acid in the mouth. Also, try avoiding carbonated beverages and orange juice, since those drinks are extremely acidic.

Don’t add unneeded acid

Try avoiding extremely acidic foods like carbonated beverages and orange juice. If you o drink them, make sure to follow it up with a swirl of fluoridated water in order to rinse away the acid, lower mouth acidity, and promote the remineralization of the tooth.

Eat the carbs in one go

Have your carbs as part of a meal instead of snacking on them throughout the day. This limits your mouth to carbohydrate exposure only during meal times.

Preventive Care for Tooth Decay

preventing tooth decay eating carbs

Switch to sugar-free liquids to keep your mouth clean and free of bacteria.

Be certain to floss after meals and brush your teeth at least twice daily.  Rinsing with a bacteria preventative mouthwash is a big plus as well. Lots of the foods you love and enjoy, especially during BBQ season, will contain carbohydrates that will aid in the production of acid.  Keeping yourself aware of what you eat and drink will help as a reminder to keep your mouth rinsed with sugar-free liquids. Water is your best solution.

  • Sugary candies and sweets that stay in your mouth: If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly. Those that stick around — lollipops, caramels, jelly beans and hard candies — make it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away. Snacks like cookies, cakes or other desserts contain a high amount of sugar, which can cause tooth decay. If you eat these foods, limit when you eat them, instead of snacking on them through the day, and brush your teeth afterward.
  • Starchy, refined carbohydrates: Foods such as chips, bread, pasta or crackers can be as harmful to the teeth as candy. Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can linger in your mouth and then break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay. Avoid eating them throughout the day and brush afterward.
  • Beverages with added sugar: Be aware of the amount of sugar in your drinks by checking the nutrition label. Consider alternatives such as water, tea, coffee and coconut water.
  • Fruit juice: Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. Whole fruits have fiber and are a less concentrated source of sugar (and sometimes acids) than juice. When you drink fruit juice, use a straw to keep it from having too much contact with your teeth or rinse with water afterward.
  • Lemons, citrus fruits, and other acidic foods: Avoid keeping these foods in your mouth for a long period of time.

Choose the best Dental Health Care Team Near You

To complete your preventive care, visit your dental hygienist at least two times annually.  Your dental hygienist can detect a myriad of problems through a thorough examination of your teeth and gums.  After each visit with your hygienist, your dentist will review the exam and consult with you for any treatment needed.

Taking good care of your teeth will reward you with good health for your body.  Call the office of Dr. Stella Oh today and make a preventative care appointment to get on the road to a healthier mouth and a healthier you.