The Chemistry of oral hygiene
Are you intrigued by what chemistry has to do with oral hygiene?
There is a lesson to be learned from cultures where people rinse their mouth with water after a meal. We all heard about tooth cavities caused by acids secreted by oral bacteria. Over time the acid softens and erodes the tooth enamel, resulting in painful cavities.
Oftentimes food particles remain stuck between the teeth, thus providing an excellent medium for bacteria to proliferate. These bacteria solubilize the food particles to release acids. Water (neutral pH), dilutes, removes, and neutralizes the acid (pH is below 7) in the mouth and protects the enamel. Water acts as a buffer to bring up the pH of the saliva to near neutral.
Not only humans, bacteria also have a sweet tooth, because they need sugar to survive. If you are keen to avoid cavities, stop drinking sweetened beverages as they leave plenty of sugar for bacteria to thrive. You have the power to stop the cavity formation at its source. The secret is rinsing the mouth, especially, after drinking milk, juice, and other sweetened beverages.
Your take home message, “rinsing your mouth after every meal will keep cavities away”. Want to learn more about the chemistry and biology behind our daily life, learn at Full Potential Learning Academy.
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