Secret to good dental health

Few dental care observations and some learnt the hard way.

A disclaimer first: This is not established medical knowledge and I am neither a dentist nor a medical practitioner. These are my own observations gathered over time.

I have never visited a dentist in my life! But that doesn’t mean I have perfect dental health. But apart from a very bad decay issue once, I have however managed my teeth myself. My dental cavities came into existence during my doctoral (Ph.D.) time (that darned time when nearly everyone loses either their health or their mind!). I used to go to bed without brushing my teeth after having some spicy snacks to accompany some exhilarating reading or discussions with peers at the legendary tea board at I.I.Sc., Bengaluru. All the good that simple home food did until then was wiped away in no time.

We humans have been eating the maximum carbohydrates in all our existence. While it may be good for our brains and for us in general, the obvious tradeoff is dental health. This probable connection can interestingly be seen in the fossil evidence dating back to cave people and the beginnings of agriculture when civilization and development accelerated.

Tooth decay to my limited knowledge and opinion is caused by two things - sugars and acids. Since teeth are primarily made of calcium, acids are generally detrimental to it. The case with sugars in a simplistic scenario seems that the mild sugary environment is conducive to bacterial growth and they in turn produce the acids that harm teeth.

The secret!

The secret(s) we have figured out is/are (apart from maintaining proper dental hygiene): eat sugary stuff before the less harmful food stuff. And avoid excessively acidic foods. Or try to balance the pH at least (to some flushable salts…?). In fact, we are the victims of some prying eyes at restaurants wondering about our supposed greed for desserts! While all we’re doing is save our teeth as long as we can.

Another thing I realized lately is that motorized brushes do work! I used to think it was very lazy on someone’s part to take electro-mechanical help for such a trivial thing as brushing. But just try matching the RPM.

Murthy O V S N
Murthy O V S N

Physicist and educator in Bengaluru, India