Dentists have been warning us about the dangers of sugar to our teeth for decades, but in today’s world of constant information it sometimes seems like what is good and bad for you is constantly changing. So could that be that sugar isn’t as bad for our teeth as we thought? Dr. Poorva Parnaik of Dental Creations in Medford, NJ has some bad news for you: sugar is really as bad for your teeth as you’ve always heard.
Sugar Damages Your Teeth
There’s a good reason dentists warn against excessive sugar intake: it destroys your tooth enamel. Everything we eat and drink leaves residue on our teeth that combines with saliva and forms plaque. Plaque builds up throughout the day or even when we are sleeping, and the only way to remove it is with regular brushing or flossing. Bacteria that live in our mouths feast on the food particles in plaque. If allowed to flourish, the acids produced by the bacteria’s digestion will destroy the hard outer layer of the teeth called the enamel, causing tooth decay.
Sugar is the favorite food of these oral bacteria. Eating sugary and starchy foods causes them to produce more acids which begin to deteriorate the enamel of your teeth in places where plaque has been allowed to accumulate. Therefore, although sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay, it accelerates the bacteria’s ability to destroy your teeth, creating cavities and weakening enamel.
Sugar is Hiding in Most Food
Almost every food has some form of sugar, and many drinks contain it as well. Even healthy foods like fruits and vegetables have natural sugar, but the primary culprit of tooth decay among Americans is the sugar in nearly every widely available processed food available.
Regardless of the source, whether fresh fruit or a candy bar, sugar can still lead to tooth decay.
How to Help Your Teeth
We know that completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impractical and would not be much fun — even dentists eat foods with sugar! However, changing the source of your sugar is a great first step. Eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed food will significantly reduce the amount of sugar you ingest, which is good for your mouth and your overall health.
Brushing and flossing every day as recommended by your dentist is the best way to remove plaque from the teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and keeping regular appointments with Dr. Parnaik. To get our help keeping plaque and tooth decay under control, call 609.365.0673 or go online to schedule a consultation with Dental Creations today.