Diet for a Healthy Mouth, or How to Ward off the Evil Decay Spirits

Would you like to never get another cavity?  It is possible.  In fact, if you follow just a few rules, you are almost guaranteed never to get another cavity.

Here’s how it works.  Everybody has germs in their mouths.  Decay happens when certain of these germs turn sugar into acid.  This acid causes decay.  The good guy is your saliva.  The saliva neutralizes the acid produced by the germs (stick around, this will get more interesting).  It takes 2 hours, however, after having anything with sugar for your teeth to stop dissolving.

So, your teeth are dissolving for two hours after you have anything with sugar.  If you have three meals a day and nothing in between, your teeth dissolve for six hours a day.  They seem to cope OK with this.  Every sugary snack between meals adds an extra two hours to your dissolving time.

Public enemy number one, the sugary snacks are the obvious ones like candy, lozenges, mints, cookies and cake, but this also includes drinks with sugar such as soft drinks, fruit juice, coffee or tea with sugar.  Did you know that a large McDonalds Coke has 22 teaspoons of sugar?  It’s full of acid too, which really wrecks the teeth.  The worst snacks are those you suck on for a long time, especially candies which have built-in acid.  Even “healthy” snacks like granola bars and dried fruit are loaded with sugar.

Before all you chocoholics jump out the window, there is a simple solution.  All you have to do is bundle up all your snacks and juice and include them with the three major meals.  Presto!  No more decay.  If you must gobble or nibble between meals some things are OK.  Most dairy products, fresh fruit (not dried) and vegetables are fine to have as snacks.  You can drink water, milk, coffee or tea unsweetened or with sugar substitute and watered-down juices in moderation.  Juice with soda water tastes good too and has a lot less sugar and calories.  Diet soft drinks with sugarless gum are sort of OK but don’t overdo it.

It sounds easy and it is.  The rest is up to you.