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  • Dr Vyla Ellis

You can't blame tooth decay on your genes

As much as we might like to blame our parents for giving us bad teeth a new study has found that this is not the case.

The study, which looked at Australian twins, found that the health of our teeth is impacted more by what we eat and drink and our teeth cleaning habits than it is by our genetics. Some bacteria in the mouth are inherited but these are not the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Interestingly the study found that eating sugary foods resulted in growth of the bad bacteria in the mouth, resulting in increased risk of tooth decay.

What does this all mean? It means that tooth decay is mostly to do with how much sugar we consume and whether or not we are brushing our teeth for 2 minutes twice a day and flossing daily.

This is good news. This means that we are not helpless when it comes to the fight against dental decay. We can all make the decision to consume less sugar, thereby reducing the bad bacteria in our mouths. We can all get out our phone and time our brush to see just how long 2 minutes is. We can all pick up the floss/pikster/flosette and clean between our teeth. We can all make the decision to make a positive change for our health and decrease the number of fillings we need.

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