In today’s world of information at our fingertips on the internet from varying sources, it’s hard to know what to believe. One day you read that something is bad for your health and all the while another expert elsewhere on the internet is telling you that’s it’s nothing to worry about or maybe even that it’s good for you. Could this also be true when it comes to the warnings about the effects of sugar on our teeth, too?
Dr. Shawna Hoffert of Red Maple Dental in Asheville, NC has some bad news for you: sugar is really as bad for your teeth as you’ve been told.
Sugar Damages Your Teeth
There’s a reason dentists warn against excessive sugar intake: it destroys your teeth. Everything we eat leaves behind a residue on our teeth that feeds naturally-occurring oral bacteria. This residue builds up throughout the day or even while we sleep, and the only way to remove it is to brush it away with toothpaste and a toothbrush. If not removed, the bacteria will destroy your tooth enamel while it consumes this residue — plaque — causing tooth decay.
Only regular brushing (at least 2x daily), flossing (at least 1x daily) along with dental check-ups (at least 1x every 6 months) can remove this plaque. If allowed to flourish unchecked, the bacteria will eat through not only the plaque but down through the enamel too, causing tooth decay.
Eating too much sugar will allow the oral bacteria to thrive and reproduce, ruthlessly destroying your precious enamel as they do. Therefore, although sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it assists the oral bacteria in destroying your teeth, weakening enamel and creating cavities.
Sugar is Hiding in Most Food
Almost every food has some sugar, and many drinks contain sugar as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have natural sugar, but the primary culprit of tooth decay for Americans is the sugar hiding in the processed foods that are available everywhere. Regardless of the source, sugar can still lead to tooth decay.
How to Help Your Teeth
We know that completely cutting sugar out of your diet is impractical — even dentists eat sugar! However, changing where you get your sugar is a great first step. Eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods can greatly reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth while still allowing you to have a sweet snack, and it’s better for your overall health too.
Regularly brushing your teeth (twice a day), flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Dr. Hoffert or your local dentist are the best way to stop sugar from ruining your teeth. If you’re in the Asheville, NC area and want help keeping plaque and tooth decay under control, schedule a consultation at Red Maple Dental today by calling (828)-358-1925 or contact us online.