We’ve all been told to consume less sugar, usually starting early in your childhood. It’s common to be told that sugar is bad for your teeth, but do you really know why? Understanding what sugar actually does inside your mouth offers great motivation to slow your sugar consumption and improve your dental hygiene habits. Keep reading below to learn more about the effects of sugar on your teeth.
Acidity and Weakened Enamel
Sugar changes the acidity of your mouth. For short periods of time, that’s not a big deal. It becomes a major problem when that acidity sits in your mouth unchecked though. Before you know it, the acidity is eroding the enamel on your teeth and encouraging plaque to form. Weakened enamel and plaque buildup are two of the first warning signs that a cavity could start to form.
Inviting Bad Bacteria
Sugar actually attracts bad bacteria to your mouth. This specific type of bad bacteria targets your gums. Over time, this can cause gingivitis and gum disease. Both conditions can be extremely uncomfortable to deal with. Advanced gum disease can even result in a receding gum line which feels even worse than it looks.
Cavity Causing Food and Drinks
Basically, anything that contains sugar could contribute to cavities forming in your mouth. Both natural sugars, like those found in fruit, and artificial sugars invite bad bacteria into the mouth and changes the natural acidity to a more harmful state. The best thing you can do to limit cavity-causing foods and drinks in your diet is to avoid heavily processed foods. When you do eat something that contains sugar, brush your teeth about 20 minutes after you finish eating or drinking. If you can make one real change, give up sugary sodas and juices! Studies have shown that people who drink sugary drinks daily are 31% more likely to develop cavities. Something as simple as switching to water could preserve your teeth and gum health for the rest of your life!
Protecting Your Teeth
Since it’s not reasonable to expect anyone to cut out all forms of sugar, what can you do to protect your teeth? Maintain a good dental hygiene routine at home. this should include brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Ask your dental hygienist for a demonstration on how to properly brush to promote healthy teeth and gums. Seeing your dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning is extremely important too. This gives the dentist a chance to clean your teeth more deeply and identify any early warning signs that a cavity might be starting to form.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning in Swampscott, MA
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