By now, we all know that eating and drinking too much sugar is bad for your teeth, but many people do not understand why sugar is terrible or how cutting out sugar can improve their overall oral health. While sugar itself does not directly cause tooth decay, it feeds the bacteria that cause decay.
Cavities Developing from Sugar Intake
Our mouths have hundreds of bacteria inside. Most bacteria are helpful and are an integral part of your oral environment. Unfortunately, certain bacteria can be harmful, and these types of bacteria thrive on the sugars in ice cream, candies, cookies, and other sugar-loaded food.
When this harmful bacteria feeds on the sugar, it produces enamel destroying acids. These acids eat away at the natural, protective enamel on the outside of teeth. When sugar stays on your teeth, the acids eat through the enamel and commonly go deeper into the teeth, which leads to the development of cavities.
Cutting out sugar can help stop this process and avoid cavities. You want to keep that protective enamel around for as long as possible, especially as you age. Of course, cutting out sugar is not an easy task, but even limiting your sugar intake will make a big difference for your teeth. You should also implement a few habits that can help restore (or re-mineralize) your tooth enamel to keep it strong after encountering sugar.
Habits to Avoid Cavities
- Drink green and black teas, which contain substances that can help control the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Cheese and dairy products contain phosphates and calcium, which can strengthen your teeth and improve enamel strength.
- Drink water that contains fluoride and consider fluoride treatments.
- Brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Using mouthwash can also help wash away food particles from in between your teeth.
- Get regular cleanings and checkups – once a year is good, but at least twice a year is even better.
Having regular appointments with your dentist can allow you to catch any serious tooth enamel issues and cavities. It can help you prevent them from forming or getting worse. So, while avoiding sugar as much as possible is helpful, taking immediate action to target and fix cavities is the most important part of taking care of your dental health. To schedule an appointment, contact Foothill Dental Care at (925) 961-5484 today!