Cake, cookies, candy, ice cream...there's one common ingredient that helps make all of these foods so delicious: sugar.
If you have a sweet tooth, you may be wondering how sugar is affecting the health of your teeth. What happens if you eat too much sugar? What are some ways to keep your teeth healthy after consuming sugary foods or drinks?
Keep reading for an overview of the impact of sugar on your teeth and learn more about the benefits of visiting a reliable dental clinic to maintain your oral health.
How Does Sugar Affect Your Oral Health?
Sugar may taste great, but if consumed in large amounts, it can also be detrimental to your teeth and gums. The negative effects of sugar include the following:
It Attracts Bacteria and Lowers Your Mouth’s pH
Did you know that sugar can actually increase the presence of bad bacteria in your mouth? In addition, it also lowers your mouth’s pH to make you more susceptible to tooth decay or periodontal disease.
While there are good types of bacteria present in your mouth, there are also harmful kinds, and the latter work by converting sugar into acid. The more sugar you consume, the more acid is created, which gradually destroys the protective layer of your teeth, also known as enamel. If not taken care of promptly, it can lead to oral health concerns like gingivitis or gum disease.
It Causes Cavities
The cavity results from demineralization or the removal of minerals from dental enamel. This happens because the bacteria in your mouth produce acids as a by-product of their digestion of sugars. The acids, in turn, dissolve the minerals that make up your teeth, leading to holes or cavities. When there's an excess of acid in your mouth, it's harder for your saliva to naturally get rid of it to keep your teeth healthy.
If you're worried you may have a cavity, visit a dental clinic so they can thoroughly examine your teeth.
Oral Health Tips to Remember
Now that you know about the ways how sugar can affect your oral health, you may wonder what steps you can take to minimize the damage. We've put together a few tips to follow below.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
This one may seem obvious, but reducing sugar consumption is a sure way to keep it from damaging your teeth.
Try to avoid consuming processed or refined sugar, which is found in many candies, potato chips, and pre-packaged snacks. Sugary drinks are especially important to avoid.
Instead, stick to foods with natural sugars like apples, cranberries, or dates.
Drink Lots of Water
Not only is drinking water good for your body in general, but it can help your mouth as well.
Drinking water during and after eating sugar helps wash the sugar away so it doesn't get stuck in your teeth and around your gums.
Brush and Floss Regularly
If you're eating a sugary snack or indulging in a soft drink, brushing your teeth soon after is a good idea. This will help keep your teeth strong, clean and cavity-free.
Also, don't forget to floss regularly to remove any sugary food particles between your teeth.
Visit a Dental Clinic in Saint John
Sugar may not be great for your teeth, but that doesn't mean you have to avoid it completely. With this information, you're better prepared to maintain great oral health.
Ready to schedule your visit with a dental clinic in Saint John? Reach out to us today, so we can help you maintain your beautiful smile!