We all know that it’s consuming too much sugar is bad for your teeth, but do you actually know why sugar is bad or what cutting out sugar will actually do to improve your overall oral health?
The truth is, sugar itself is not the direct cause of tooth decay. In fact, it is the consequential events that occur after you eat sugar that cause the real damage. Here’s what goes on when you consume sugar on a regular basis and it begins to affect the health of your teeth and gums:
The Development of Cavities From Sugar
Everyone’s mouth has hundreds of bacteria inside. Most bacteria is actually helpful, and you need it an integral part of your oral environment. But certain bacteria can be harmful, and this harmful bacteria loves the sugars that are in ice cream, candies, cookies, and other sugar-laden delectable. When this harmful bacteria feeds on these sugars, it creates tooth-enamel destroying acids.
In other words, these bad bacteria create acids that eat away at the natural, protective enamel on the outside of your teeth. When the sugar is left on your teeth, it causes the acids to not only eats through the enamel, but to often go deeper into other layers of your teeth, and this is what causes cavities.
By cutting out sugar, you can stop this process, avoid cavities, and keep that protective enamel around for as long as possible. Of course, completely cutting out sugar is a large task. Even if you can just limit your sugar intake, this will do a world of good for your teeth. In this case, you’ll also want to implement a few habits that can help restore (or re-mineralize) your tooth enamel to keep it strong after encountering sugar.
5 Habits To Help Avoid Cavities
1. Try green and black teas. Green and black teas contain specific substances that can help keep harmful bacteria in your mouth at bay. Try drinking one cup a day to improve your oral health.
2. Eat more cheese and dairy products. Dairy products contain phosphates and calcium that can help strengthen your teeth and improve the durability of your enamel. Yogurt, cheese, milk, and other dairy-based products all contain these important phosphates and calcium.
3. Drink water that contains fluoride. Naturally, we receive fluoride in our diet through the water that we drink, but special fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office can help too.
4. Brush and floss daily. You should brush and floss every morning and every night, and for brownie points, brush and floss after you eat as well. Mouthwash can be helpful for swishing out food particles from in between your teeth too, but it is not absolutely necessary on a regular basis.
5. Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. Experts recommend that you see your dentist at least once a year for good oral health, but getting in two visits a year is even better.
Only a dentist will be able to see serious tooth enamel problems and cavities when they first start. In addition to avoiding sugar as much as possible, immediately targeting and fixing cavities that were caused by sugar is another essential part of taking optimal care of your oral health.