Does sugar damage teeth?
For those of us who have a sweet tooth, the notion that sugar can be harmful to the health of our teeth makes those guilty pleasures seem all the more tempting. Reverse psychology: tell us not to indulge in candy and the thought becomes all the more appetising! However, modern societies somewhat obsession with sugar may not necessarily be a case of reverse psychology; sugar is a highly addictive substance and found in foods that we consume daily.
The more we get, the more we want. A quick glance at a food label will likely reveal sugar that is present in foods that you may not even expect! And despite our best intentions to follow a healthy diet, the sugar contained in what may seem like a healthy salad dressing on drizzled over your lunchtime bowl of greens could be the culprit leading to those infamous candy cravings.
While many are aware that cutting down on sugar can help t reduce their waistlines, it can also help to improve your dental health.
The effects of sugar on your teeth
Sugar itself is not what is damaging to your teeth, but rather, the chain of events that occur after it is consumed. Certain bacteria that live in your mouth feed on sugar and in doing so, starts to produce acids which are harmful to your teeth. When these acids combine with the saliva in your mouth, it produces that nasty stuff your dentist warned you about: plaque.
If plaque is not brushed away, it can turn into what is known as tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar is not as easy to remove at home and will likely require the assistance of an oral hygienist.
Essentially, this build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth may begin to erode the teeth, leading to gum disease and dental decay.
Minimising the effects of sugar on teeth
We’re not about to tell you to cut sugar out of your diet completely – that wouldn’t be any fun now, would it? However, the best way you can reduce the effects of sugar on your teeth is to simply enjoy this indulgent substance in moderation. Make a point of reading the back of the food labels during your next grocery trip. You’ll find that it is usually processed foods that contain sugar. In this sense, it is better to eat whole and unprocessed foods to help reduce your sugar intake.
Remember, the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you will crave, so making a concerted effort to reduce your intake will have a domino effect in reducing your cravings.
Sugar in beverages is also a large culprit. Instead of enjoying a full glass of fruit juice, dilute it with some water to reduce the amount of sugar contained in your glass.
We urge you to enjoy a slice of chocolate cake every now and again – its good for the soul. Just be sure to brush your teeth afterwards!
Maintain oral health at Dental Pearls
If you are worried about the health of your teeth, feel free to contact us and one of our experienced team members will happily discuss options to help maintain excellent oral health.