How Does Sugar Affect Your Dental Health?

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We all have a sweet tooth and our share of sweet cravings. And whenever we see sweets and sugary foods, it would be almost impossible to resist it. This is the reason why about 26% or one in every four American adults have untreated tooth decay. While 46% of Americans aged 30 years and above are showing signs of gum disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is the second most prevalent disease in the US. And the number one cause of tooth decay is the consumption of sugary foods while not observing good oral hygiene. 

How bad is sugar?

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate which is produced naturally in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. When sugar binds with other simple sugars, they can then form carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in a variety of foods — both healthy and unhealthy — such as bread, potatoes, milk, cookies, corn, soda, and many others. Carbohydrates are also a good source of energy. The problem happens when we consume too much carbohydrates without taking care of our dental hygiene.  

We already learned in our science class that digestion starts in the mouth. When we eat foods, our teeth tear them apart and grind them into small digestible pieces. During the process, there will be pieces of food that may be left in your mouth and stick in between the teeth. The bacteria present in your mouth will feed on the sugar from these food items and convert it into acids. When this happens, the population of bacteria in your mouth will increase and more acid will come in contact with your teeth. The acids will cause demineralization and wear out your tooth enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities and infection. 

How to protect your dental health from sugar?

Cutting down sugar consumption and practicing good oral hygiene are the two best ways to protect your dental health against sugar. Instead of starchy foods, choose healthier alternatives. You can swap potatoes with cauliflower and instead of eating white bread, opt for wheat bread or whole grains. And as much as possible, stay away from refined or processed sugar like candies, ice cream, chips, pre-packed snacks, soft drinks and energy drinks. 

It is crucial to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Do not brush your teeth right after eating sugary foods or drinking soda since your teeth are still weak after the sugar from your food attacks it. Wait at least 30 minutes for your teeth to recover before brushing it. However, it is best to rinse your mouth with water after eating starchy foods or drinking soda to help wash away the acids in your mouth. Remember to use toothpaste with fluoride in your oral hygiene since it can give additional protection to your teeth. 

Finally, honor your regular dental checkup. Make sure to visit us at RenovaSmiles twice a year for your routine oral examination and cleaning. This way, you will be able to catch any potential dental issues earlier and be able to address it right away. 

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