What is it about sugar that can cause serious issues for your smile?
The US Department of Agriculture predicts that Americans consume as much as 150 to 170 pounds of sugar a year! While you may not believe you could consume nearly this much, you may be surprised how many foods contain sugar. So, why is sugar getting such a bad rep and what does it do to a healthy smile?
Whether your vice is a bottle of soda or a breakfast pastry, every time you consume sugar it joins forces with the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid. The acid then wreaks havoc on your smile, causing persistent attacks that wear away enamel and cause issues like decay, tooth sensitivity and stains. According to WHO, about 60 to 90 percent of school-age children and nearly 100 percent of adults worldwide have cavities. However, watching what we put in our mouths could prevent all this.
So what can you do to prevent the negative impact of sugar on your teeth?
While avoiding sugar altogether is ideal, it’s often not as easy as it sounds. Everything in moderation is usually a great rule of thumb. When you do consume sugar, your Billerica dentist recommends following these little habits to reduce the damage done to tooth enamel:
- Whenever you consume sugar be sure to drink water, too. This will wash away as much of the acid as possible.
- The best option is to brush your teeth after each meal or snack to effectively remove sugar from your teeth and gums.
- If you don’t have a toothbrush at your disposal, turn to sugar-free gum that contains xylitol to reduce your chances of developing cavities.
- If you are enjoying a sugary yet acidic treat (think sour candies) hold off on brushing for at least 30 minutes afterwards. Pushing acid around in your smile will only make matters worse. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water to get rid of acid and sugar.
As always, one of the best ways to protect the health of your smile is to see your Billerica dentist every six months for routine checkups. If it’s time for your biannual cleaning, contact Dr. Barry H. Danzig, DDS at Grateful Dentist. Make your smile a priority!