The Science of Healthy Teeth with Delmarva Dental Services
Brush your teeth, floss, and avoid sugary foods. This is all good advice to maintain healthy teeth, but do you know why?
Dr. Joseph Harmon of Delmarva Dental Services says the science of cavities is actually more complicated than you might think. He says, for one thing, the byproduct of bad bacteria is what actually causes cavities. Dr. Harmon likes to compare the mouth to an ecosystem. Millions of bacteria work together to create a bio-film, much like the slimy stuff you find on rocks in a pond. He says the bacteria sticks to your teeth with the help of something that is actually good for your teeth, calcium.
“If you think of positives and negatives, the tooth actually is negative and the bacteria is negative, so like charges actually repel,” said Dr. Harmon. “But what bacteria do, they pick up calcium from your saliva and it makes a positive charge, so they actually use calcium to stick to your teeth.”
Dr. Harmon says that same bacteria uses sugar to create a acid, which dissolves teeth.
According to Dr. Harmon, the best way to prevent this bacteria from harming your teeth is to brush and floss regularly. Dr. Harmon says brushing breaks up the bio-film on your teeth. Flossing does the same, but it does it on the sides of the teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach.