Do you remember the Cavity Creeps from when you were a kid?
I remember these cartoon commercials. I would sit and imagine there were these cavity creeps climbing around my teeth. And I have to say, it made me want to brush my teeth. I think I actually told my dad one time that Aqua Fresh was not going to kill the cavity creeps, we had to buy crest. He probably just laughed and thought, “Boy, that is effective advertising.”
Just to clear the air, you don’t have cartoon creatures crawling around your mouth chiseling away at your teeth. What you do have is bacteria eating away at your enamel and infecting your gums.
Cavity Creeps was the childhood name given to describe the destructive bacteria that causes tooth decay.
How Stuff Works has a very simple explanation:
- Each tooth is covered by a hard mineral substance called enamel.
- Enamel is a mineral that helps to protect your teeth.
- As a mineral, enamel can break down when it makes contact with the acids in your mouth. (water helps neutralize acids
- Sugars and starches are the main enemies here, because bacteria thrive on them.
- When enough bacteria builds up, it forms into plaque and then tartar, two or more enemies of your enamel.
- The Tartar and Plaque, teaming with bad bacteria eventually eat away at the enamel
- Under the enamel is the vulnerable, sensitive surface of your teeth.
- Bacteria will attack this soft surface rapidly decaying the teeth.
- This causes more tooth surface to be exposed and decay to perpetuate.
In a sense there are cavity creeps in your mouth, but more accurately, you have acid and bacteria.
To fight the battle against the creeps:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day
- Floss at least once per day (I also use dental sticks or toothpicks after meals)
- Drink lots of water
- Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Visit your family dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning
They also say stay away from sweet and starchy food, but where’s the fun in that?