Have you ever wondered why it’s necessary to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis? Our ancestors (the ones far back enough, at least) never did anything to care for their teeth. Somehow, however, there’s no evidence that they suffered from tooth decay the way that we do today.

So what happened? It’s simple, really. The foods we eat today are much different than the foods we ate when were still a young species. Back then our diets contained more meats and absolutely no processed food.

But when it comes down to it, there is one major culprit that is robbing you of your dental health: carbohydrates.

You see, a long time ago, carbs were hard to come by. And when people did find them, they were usually in the form of fruits and vegetables. These types of foods are generally full of fiber and actually help to clean your teeth.

Later, however, we gained the ability to harvest grains. This led to foods like rice and bread, which have become major staples in many people’s diets. The carbs you eat stay on your teeth and become easy food for bacteria that eventually leads to tooth decay.

It only got worse from there. Eventually, we created processed sugar. These simple carbs were perfect to help bacteria survive and thrive inside our mouths. This lead to a host of problems, like gingivitis and cavities.

Since our bodies are hard-wired to crave carbohydrates and sugar, and we now have easy access to them, we are eating more than ever. It’s been a perfect storm, and one of the biggest victims is our teeth and gums.

Because of all of this, we now have to work to keep our mouths healthy. It’s best if you can brush three times a day, after each meal. Make sure not brush directly after eating, however, as your enamel is temporarily weakened after you consume any food or drink. You need to give it time to harden again, so brushing doesn’t do any damage. It’s also advisable to floss once a day.

I know many people are tempted to ignore the call to floss their teeth, but this step is very important. Think about how close together your teeth are. Food particles get trapped in those spaces and rot, if you don’t floss properly.

Follow these steps and make sure to see your dentist regularly. That will go a long way towards ensuring you enjoy good dental health.