We all know that sugar isn’t good for our teeth, but what is it about sugar specifically that can lead to such damaging effects? It’s important to understand the science behind how sugar impacts your teeth so that you can make informed decisions and take better care of your smile. Let’s dive into the research and see how sugar affects our teeth.

The Science Behind Sugar and Your Teeth

When it comes to dental health, bacteria play a major role. Bad bacteria in plaque produce acid when it comes into contact with sugary foods and drinks, which can eat away at tooth enamel and cause tooth decay and tooth loss. The more sugary food and drink you consume, the more harmful bacteria are produced – so if you’re eating or drinking a lot of sugar, you have a higher risk of developing cavities. Limiting sugar intake and eating healthier foods can dramatically improve your overall health, including oral health. 

Different types of sugar affect your teeth differently. For instance, foods with high fructose corn syrup and processed sugars are often combined with other ingredients like corn syrup or other additives that can be even more damaging to your teeth than regular table sugar. 

Try to limit foods like:

  • Candy
  • Ice cream
  • Sugary cereals
  • Soft drinks
  • Fruit juice 
  • Sports drinks 
  • Cookies

Sticky foods and candies like gummy worms stick on your teeth longer than other food items, meaning the bacteria have more time to produce acid and damage tooth enamel. 

Sugar Alternatives

Luckily, there are ways for us to enjoy sweet treats without causing too much damage to our teeth! Here are some alternatives to sugary snacks that won’t harm your teeth:

  • Snack on cheese or yogurt – these dairy products help neutralize acid production from plaque bacteria.
  • Eat raw fresh fruits and vegetables – crunchy foods help clean away plaque buildup on your teeth. To satisfy your sweet tooth, eat fruits like peaches and strawberries.
  • Drink plenty of water – water helps rinse away plaque from between your teeth and keeps saliva levels steady.
  • Chew sugar-free gum – can help prevent plaque build-up and pick up excess food particles.

Everyday Oral Care

It is also important to brush regularly with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily as part of your oral hygiene routine. Brushing helps remove plaque buildup on the surfaces of your teeth, which can lead to other issues, such as gum disease, if left unchecked. Flossing removes debris between the tight spaces between each of your teeth that brushing alone cannot reach. This helps prevent bacteria from settling there, which could otherwise lead to cavities forming over time. Additionally, regular dental visits and cleanings are essential for avoiding any potential problems before they become serious, requiring expensive treatments like root canal therapy or extractions.

Keep Your Teeth Happy and Healthy

Sugar isn’t good for our teeth – we all know this! But understanding why is key to making smart choices about what we eat and drink. Eating sweet snacks isn’t completely off-limits; there are plenty of healthy alternatives out there that won’t wreak havoc on your pearly whites! If you’d like more tips on taking better care of your smile, reach out today and speak with one of our friendly dentists here at Dewitt Dental Associates! We’re here to help keep you smiling brighter each day.

If you’re looking for a dental exam in Denver or teeth cleaning in Denver, schedule your next visit with our experienced Denver dentists. Please call (303) 321-5656 today or complete the online booking form. We are located at 3300 E. 1st Ave. Suite 615 in Denver, Co. We welcome patients from Cherry Creek, Englewood, and all surrounding metro communities.

Categories: General Dentistry