Tooth decay has many different risk factors, including oral hygiene, general health and genetics, and of course, diet. Foods like fermentable carbohydrates and which include sugars can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. The frequency at which you consume sugary foods is of far greater importance than the amount. Therefore it’s a good idea to think about having a time when you can more safely eat sugary foods, although it doesn’t necessarily need to be an entire hour!
For example, think about including sugary foods in your main meal as this is far preferable to snacking on them in between meals. When you do eat carbohydrate-rich foods, it increases acidity in your mouth. The acid is created by bacteria that thrive on leftover foods, and it’s the acid that causes cavities eventually, weakening your tooth enamel over time. Foods that stick to teeth are even worse for increasing the risk of tooth decay.
After you finish eating, your mouth remains acidic for about half an hour to an hour afterwards. Make sure you wait this long before brushing your teeth thoroughly with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss too, as this removes sugary particles from hard to reach areas in your mouth.