Why Do Teeth Require So Much Maintenance?

Discover why modern diets and increased longevity present challenges for teeth maintenance and oral hygiene.

Why Do Teeth Require So Much Maintenance?
Photo by Katie Smith / Unsplash

Maintaining healthy teeth is not just about having a pretty smile.

With the shift towards processed foods and longer life expectancies, the effort required to care for our teeth has significantly increased.

Let's delve into the science behind why teeth require so much maintenance.

Evolution and Diet:

Before the advent of agriculture, early human remains showed minimal instances of cavities or crooked teeth.

Their jaw sizes were determined by genetics and the toughness of their diets.

Consuming rough, fibrous foods resulted in the development of larger jaws that accommodated all their teeth neatly.

Modern diets, filled with excess sugar and softer processed foods, lead to smaller jaw growth and crooked teeth, making them harder to clean.

Acid Formation:

Sugar consumption can lead to cavity formation.

When leftover sugar in the mouth interacts with bacteria, it produces acid, which slowly erodes the enamel, the protective covering of the teeth.

This harmful process is exacerbated by the prevalence of sugary snacks and drinks in today's diets.

Oral Hygiene:

Additionally, the increasing popularity of processed foods and sugary drinks further necessitates meticulous oral maintenance.

The residue of these foods allows bacteria to thrive, eventually leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

Longevity and Dental Care Needs:

As life expectancies increase, so does the need for ongoing dental care.

With people retaining their natural teeth for longer, due to advancements in dental care and hygiene, the need for consistent maintenance becomes crucial.

This has resulted in a shift towards preventive dental care, as more people seek to preserve their natural teeth well into old age.

Exploring the science behind teeth maintenance reveals that the modern diet, alongside the increase in life expectancies, has significantly altered the care required to maintain healthy teeth.

With the prevalence of processed foods and sugary diets, it is clear that the effort needed to preserve our dental health cannot be underestimated.