How Long Until Sugar Causes a Cavity?

Despite popular belief, sugar itself doesn’t directly cause tooth decay. Instead, sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which then produces acids. And that acidic buildup is what often damages your enamel and leads to decay. But a cavity in Burkburnett, TX, can often be avoided with proper awareness and dental care.

While limiting your sugar intake is a good way to start, you can still enjoy the foods and drinks you like while also protecting your teeth. Even natural sugar can feed bacteria and lead to decay if you aren’t careful in how you handle your oral hygiene. 

A cavity in Burkburnett, TX, can often be avoided with proper oral hygiene awareness and professional dental care.

How to Help Prevent a Sugar-Based Cavity in Burkburnett, TX

Our teeth are made up of several layers. The outermost layer, the enamel, is often strong and sturdy for biting. However, high acidity can weaken this layer and cause it to wear away. Typically, the more acid you have in your mouth, the more likely you are to develop decay.

Because sugar causes bacteria to multiply and produce acids, it can be a dangerous substance if left behind after a snack or meal. The process of plaque buildup often takes less than 30 minutes after eating or drinking to start. And if you wait too long to act, you could end up with a cavity.

Cleaning After Eating

Depending on what you eat, you can often combat plaque buildup by brushing and flossing your teeth within that half-hour window. However, it’s important to note that some foods and drinks high in acidity can make brushing more dangerous than beneficial. Foods like oranges and drinks like soda leave acidic substances behind on your enamel that weaken it.

If you were to brush your teeth right away, you could be damaging your enamel even further. It can take up to an hour for your enamel to repair itself. In these instances, it’s often better to wait and risk a few minutes of plaque buildup to help prevent enamel loss. 

Being Aware of Your Saliva and Oral Health

Saliva is our body’s natural defense against plaque buildup and tooth decay. For most foods and drinks, our saliva can wash away left-behind particles and help prevent plaque from forming. However, our saliva isn’t always enough, nor does everyone have the same amount of saliva. Patients who suffer from chronic dry mouth, for example, are often at a greater risk of developing plaque and decay.

If you have other dental health conditions, it could impact your chances of developing a cavity. Your dentist can help recommend treatment that could improve your oral health and help better protect your teeth and gums.

If you do develop a cavity, Burkburnett Family Dentistry is here to help. Call us today at 940-340-4588 to schedule an appointment. We can help treat your cavity and provide tips and recommendations on how to prevent tooth decay in the future.