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Is Sugar Bad for My Teeth?

Posted by Nicole

Young Woman Holding Candy DishSugar can be found in nearly every processed food. It’s everywhere and hard to be avoided. No wonder so many people struggle with sugar addiction! While we all love a sweet treat here and there, eating too much sugar does come with its downfalls. Empty calories from added sugars in foods and drinks can fill you up causing you to not be hungry for more nutritious foods. This is especially true in children. It can also lead to spikes in blood glucose levels, weight gain, or more seriously diabetes which is more commonly seen in adults.

How is Sugar Connected to Tooth Decay?

You might be wondering what any of this has to do with teeth. Well, while sugar doesn’t damage teeth on its own, it does have a direct connection to tooth decay. This is true for both children and adults alike. When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your tooth enamel (the hard surface of your teeth). If left on your teeth, this can lead to cavities. The World Health Organization considers tooth decay due to sugar consumption a major public health problem globally.

We recommend opting for healthy snacks like raw veggies, fresh fruits, and nuts. However, we’re not saying you can never indulge in a treat! What fun would that be?

Help Prevent Cavities when you Eat Sugar

Here’s some advice for helping prevent cavities when you do indulge:

  • Keep in mind that some sweets are worse for your teeth than others. Sticky sweets like taffy, or hard candy like lollipops, cause sugar to sit on your teeth for an extended period.
  • Water dilutes acids in your mouth, so drinking and swishing with water after a sweet treat can help.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum promotes saliva production to also help remove sugar from teeth.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth is the best way to remove decay causing bacteria from your mouth.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are also important for the health of your teeth and gums. Even more so if you have a sweet tooth! When you visit for a check up and cleaning, your hygienist will remove plaque and tarter that you can’t remove on your own with just brushing and flossing. Additionally, your dentist will identify any problems and discuss treatment options before they can become more complicated and expensive.

Are you due for a cleaning? We’re ready to see you! Request an appointment here.