If you’ve ever been to the dentist, you’ve probably been told to stay away from sugary foods as much as possible. While almost everyone is aware that foods containing large amounts of sugar can potentially harm your teeth, the reasons why are sometimes a little less apparent. In this article, we’ll talk about how foods containing large amounts of sugar affect your teeth and why you should try to limit your consumption of them!
Sugar & Bacteria
Everyone’s mouth contains bacteria, some of which are harmful and some of which are beneficial. When sugar and other processed carbohydrates enter your mouth and combine with bacteria, the harmful bacteria produce acid that can erode your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to cavities & decay. This harmful bacteria can also cause gingivitis and other forms of gum disease down the line.
As mentioned above, the harmful bacteria in your mouth create damaging acid when exposed to sugar. When bacteria and sugar combine, they create plaque, which is a sticky film that coats the teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed when it’s soft, it hardens and becomes difficult to remove. Plaque will eventually become acidic and eat away at the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities and decay. In order to combat plaque buildup, you should be sure to have good oral health practices, like brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
White processed sugar is in more foods than you may realize: bread, pasta, cookies, yogurt, pasta sauce, salad dressing, condiments, and many more unsuspecting foods. Processed sugar is especially harmful to your teeth because it is too strong for your saliva to wash away. In order to remove this type of sugar from your teeth, you need to brush, floss, use mouthwash, and have dental cleanings. While it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid all the foods that contain processed sugar, you should try to limit your intake of them as much as possible. The more you eat these foods containing processed sugar, the longer your teeth are exposed to the enamel-dissolving effects of the acids these sugars produce.
If you have any other questions about how sugar affects your teeth or good oral hygiene practices, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!