Everyone knows that consuming too much sugar isn’t good for their teeth. However, many people don’t necessarily know why or the science behind it. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ways in which sugar can damage your teeth and what you can do to prevent it. By following some simple tips and being mindful of what you eat, you can keep your smile healthy and sparkling for years to come.
How Sugar Damages Your Teeth and Smile
The Science Behind Sugar damage & Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a common but still a very serious problem that at best causes pain or infection. It can even result in the loss of one or more teeth. While there are many factors that contribute to tooth decay, sugar consumption is one of the most significant. When sugar comes into contact with your teeth, it provides an excellent food source for the bacteria that live in your mouth.
These bacteria produce acid as they eat, which attacks the enamel on your teeth. Over time, the acid can break down the enamel, weaken it, and create cavities. There are two main types of sugar that can damage your teeth — simple sugars and complex sugars. Simple sugars are found in candy, soda, cookies, cake, and other sweet snacks. Complex sugars are found in starchy foods like bread, pasta, and crackers. When you eat these foods, the complex sugars break down into simple sugars which can then damage your teeth.
While it’s important to limit your sugar intake for the sake of your teeth, it’s also important to be aware of hidden sources of sugar in your diet. Many processed foods contain high levels of sugar without you even realizing it. By being aware of hidden sources of sugar in your diet, you can make healthier choices for yourself and your teeth.
Foods With Hidden Sugar
What Not to Eat
Many people are surprised to learn that some of their favorite foods contain hidden sugar. Foods like candy, cookies, and sugary drinks are obvious sources. But sugar can also be found in unexpected places. Prepared tomato sauce, for example, often has added sugar or high fructose corn syrup, but the only indicator is in the fine print on the back of the label.
When it comes to your teeth, it’s not just the amount of sugar you eat that matters – it’s also how often you eat sugary foods. Every time you eat or drink something sugary, acids can attack the tooth enamel for 20 minutes or more. This means that if you have sugary snacks several times a day, your teeth are under constant attack.
What to Eat Instead of sugar
So what should you eat if you want to avoid hidden sugars? The best choices are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – all of which are low in sugar and high in nutrients. Cheese and plain or lite yogurt are also good options. And if you do crave something sweet, opt for dark chocolate, which has less sugar than milk chocolate, or dried fruit without added sugar.
Sugar Tooth Decay Prevention Tips
Daily Habits to Protect Your Teeth from damage
Fortunately, by practicing good oral hygiene habits you can keep tooth decay at bay. These easy tips can help:
- Brush your teeth with a soft or medium toothbrush at least twice a day, ideally with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss every day to remove pieces of food and sticky plaque from in between your teeth.
- Visit a qualified dentist every 6 months for professional hygiene and exams.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks, as well as acidic beverages like soda and sports drinks.
- Chew sugarless gum or use mouthwash containing fluoride to help reduce plaque buildup.
Book Your Dental Appointment at Hebert Family Dentistry
Sugar is one of the hardest things on your teeth. It’s not just candy and desserts that are loaded with sugar – many “healthy” foods contain hidden sugars that can damage your teeth. The above suggestions can help you keep your mouth healthier, but nothing can replace good oral care from a qualified dentist.
At Hebert Family Dentistry, we can provide you with comprehensive dental care, including basic exams with x-rays, cleanings, periodontal therapy, fillings, and some cosmetic dentistry services. Our caring staff will work with you to get your complete health history when you arrive and will prepare you to see the dentist by completing a number of diagnostic tests. After your exam, we’ll develop a customized treatment plan designed for your specific needs.
Call today to book your appointment by dialing (337) 233-1271. We’re available now to answer your important questions.