Did you know that our body has its own defence mechanism to help stop cavities from forming? It’s true! Our saliva is our body’s way of ensuring the acids from the foods we eat don’t win the “acidity war” in our mouths and cause a hole in our teeth. Saliva has a neutralizing effect on the acids in our mouths and helps protect our teeth.
Saliva Needs Our Help
But this can only happen if we help it along. What does that mean? If we constantly snack and don’t give our mouths a chance to rest, saliva can’t do its job. Consider this… a child is given a bag of jellybeans. If you think that eating a few jelly beans at a time and making that bag last hours is better for your teeth, you’re wrong! It’s actually NOT the amount of sugar your teeth are exposed to that matters, but rather the length of time that you expose your teeth to those foods high in sugar.
Let’s use a better example for adults.
There’s nothing better as a sleep-deprived parent than waking up in the morning to the taste of our favourite coffee. But now consider that most adults are putting something in that coffee to sweeten it. Artificial sweeteners and skim/whole milk are fine, but add in even 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar or a flavouring that has a sugar content, and we a sipping our way to cavities. We think of coffee as having a low amount of sugar content, but remember…not many of us are drinking a hot cup of coffee in under 5 minutes. We savour it, often taking 30 min to an hour to consume 1-2 cups. By the way, the same goes for tea drinkers…and PS- honey is sugar! So consider trying to limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to sugars. It’s just one way to help cut down our cavity risk.