How to get Zero Cavities!

Today, for the first time in a year-and-a-half, I went to the dentist. He took a full set of x-rays before congratulating me on having no cavities at all. It wasn't a shock; I've been fastidious about my oral hygeine since I learned two importing things. These are they:

1. Flossing stinks - Years ago, my friend Alexis and I happened to be talking about flossing. "Of course I floss," she said, "if you haven't flossed for a while and then you do, it stinks!" I was disgusted and intrigued; I ventured a whiff the next time I flossed. If whatever is in between your teeth actually stinks, then you're probably better off without it. From then on, I was a little sicked out about kissing people who don't floss.

2. Bacteria, not sugar, rots your teeth - I'm not Nick D.D.S., but I do know that it isn't sugar that rots your teeth. It's the acidic byproduct the bacteria in your mouth produce as they feed on sugar--sugar meaning any carbohydrate, including otherwise non-sugary foods like bread or even Grape-Nuts. When you're trying to clean your teeth, don't imagine scrubbing sugar off of them, imagine scrubbing all the food away so bacteria have nothing to eat. You want them to be spotless, bacteria are microscopic and can live on tiny amounts of food.

Then rinse with mouthwash. It starves the bacteria by rinsing out all the minute food particles you dislodged with floss and your toothbrush. Mouthwash also makes your mouth inhospitable to bacteria like S. mutans, which is one of the first bacteria to attack your teeth, and actually has special receptors to bond to them.

Tooth decay is a chronic infectious disease - it isn't just sugar rotting your teeth. Treat it as such, and use your toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash--every morning and night, at least--to make your mouth as inhospitable as possible to bacteria. These procedures are nothing new, I just wanted to shed some light on the mechanics of tooth decay--visualizing it this way (the actual way) helped me be more careful about my oral hygiene.

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