The addition of sugar to the modern diet hasn’t just affected people’s waistlines, but it has also wreaked havoc on their teeth and oral health. Sugar by itself isn’t particularly harmful, nor is the bacteria that lives in everyone’s mouth. But when they combine, the results can be disastrous for children and adults alike.
When people consume foods and drinks that contain sugar, some of it sticks around on their teeth. The bacteria that’s already in their mouths is attracted to the sugar and other carbohydrates and feeds on them, creating a substance called plaque.
Over time, the plaque produced by this feeding process can damage tooth enamel, which is the shiny outer layer of teeth. And eventually, the damage works its way deep into the teeth themselves, resulting in significant tooth decay—also known as a cavity.
How Can You Stop Sugar from Damaging Your Teeth?
Combatting the effects that sugar and carbohydrates have on your teeth is a three-pronged approach:
Reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Eliminating overly sweetened and sugar-laden foods and drinks such as desserts, cereals, soft drinks, and fruit juice can help reduce your risk of cavities. But it’s also important to watch your intake of foods containing natural sugars, including many grains and honey.
Brush at least twice per day (and more if possible).
Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. But if that’s not feasible, brush at least twice per day—once when you wake up and again just before bed. You should also floss at least once per day, as sugar and plaque can “hide” between teeth in spots where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Get bi-annual dental exams and cleanings.
At-home oral hygiene care is extremely important, but it’s not complete without regular dental cleanings and checkups at a dentist. An expert cleaning removes all built-up plaque and can diagnose potential problems, including cavities and gum disease, before they have a chance to worsen.
Schedule Your Bi-Annual Cleaning and Checkup Today
Even the best brushers and flossers usually miss a few spots on their teeth where plaque can accumulate. Let us find it and give you a pristine and plaque-free smile! Request a dental appointment today with the team at Willow Chase Dentistry—we’re excited to welcome you to our practice and to protect your oral hygiene for years to come.