Balance – What can you do for a cavity free future?


Three elements are essential to make caries possible: first, teeth of course, then, bacteria and sugar. Remove just one of these elements and caries is no longer possible. What can you do for a cavity free future?

What is interesting to note is that less than 2% of our Stone Age foraging ancestors had cavities. They didn’t have very good oral hygiene, but they also had very little carbohydrates in their diet. With the advent of agriculture, more carbohydrates were introduced to the human diet and cavities went from rare to common. During that period, and unknown to us until the second half of the 20th century, a bacteria was evolving and adapting superbly well to this new carbohydrate-rich environment: Streptococcus Mutans.

Streptococcus mutans cell from Leo Vang

Today, as a result of these changes, caries is the most common disease in the world, affecting more than 90% of the population. So what can you do for a cavity free future?

When you have a cavity on one of your teeth, it is a sign that things have been out of balance in your mouth for quite a while. Either you are snacking too often, or quenching your thirst with something other than water every day, or perhaps you are not properly brushing and flossing your teeth daily, thus allowing the acid producing bacteria in your mouth, like Streptococcus Mutans, to far outnumber the healthy bacteria.

Whatever it is, a little crime scene investigation perhaps with the help of your dentist or hygienist is in order to determine and more importantly eliminate the cause(s). It could be as simple as asking yourself: What am I willing to say no to for a cavity free future? Sticky sweet snacks? Sweet drinks? Or: What am I willing to say yes to for a cavity future? Brushing and flossing after each meal? Once you have done your detective work and you have answered these questions, you can look forward to a cavity free future.

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