It’s no secret that sugar isn’t great for our health. One thing it’s particularly bad for is the teeth and our oral health. While we need a small amount of sugar to survive, too much of it is detrimental to our overall health. But what does sugar do to the teeth, exactly? There’s much confusion about this, so we thought we’d clear it up. Read on to find out why you need to limit the amount of sugar you consume, and what you can do to stop it making a negative impact on your oral health:

How You Get Cavities

Does sugar really cause cavities in the teeth? Well, yes, it does. The mouth is full of bacteria. Hundreds of different kinds in fact. But don’t panic! Many of these are actually beneficial to your oral health. They’re supposed to be there, fighting off bad guys that enter the mouth. That kind of thing. However, some harmful bacteria can be in there too, amongst the good bacteria. This bacteria feeds on sugar. If you eat a lot of sugar, this bacteria will feed on it and create acids in the mouth, which in turn causes cavities. You then get those little holes in your teeth as a result! Then, if you fail to treat these cavities, they can work their way into the deeper layers of the tooth, in turn causing pain and potential loss of your teeth. This is why you really need to limit your sugar intake and brush properly!

Sugar Causes Plaque

When it comes to plaque, sugar plays a part here. Everybody usually has plaque, even if it’s just a small amount. It’s usually impossible to get rid of every single trace of it at home, no matter how hard you try. But how does it form in the first place? The bacteria in your mouth can form together using the sugar as a sort of glue, which they use to stick themselves to your teeth! This makes it hard for your saliva to wash it away, however hard it may try. Sugar also helps plaque to multiply faster and grow in thickness. Of course, this makes it difficult to get rid of. Plaque looks unsightly, and if you don’t get rid of it, it will then cause more cavities and decay. This makes good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits crucial to your oral health.

Is Sugar The Only Cause Of Tooth Decay?

Some studies suggest that sugar is the only cause of tooth decay. Tooth decay is actually one of the most common, infectious diseases in the world! It plagues both adults, and children. Only 5-10% of a person’s calories should come from sugar. 5% is ideal, but 10% is probably more realistic. Keeping it as low as possible is important to avoid plaque, tooth decay, and cavities. By learning to read nutritional labels and making smart food choices, you can make sure your sugar intake is low and your teeth don’t suffer.

How To Stop Sugar From Damaging Your Teeth

It’s important that you know how to stop sugar from damaging your teeth in order to keep them healthy. You might think you just need to cut back on sweets, chocolate, and soda, but this isn’t always the case. There are many foods out there that can seem healthy that are packed with sugar. This includes fruit juice, dried fruits, and similar items. You need to be aware of how much sugar you are actually consuming in a day so you can make healthy changes to your diet and improve your oral health. Here’s how you can help to combat sugar and improve your oral hygiene:

Avoid The Worst Kind Of Sugars

As we’ve already discussed, lots of things have sugar in. However, you should make sure you avoid the worst kinds of sugars most of all. These include hard sweets, and melt in the mouth sweets. Sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time, take a while to dissolve, or those that stick to your teeth should be avoided at all costs. However, bear in mind that juice probably contains more sugar than soda, so just because it seems healthier doesn’t mean it is. Be smart about portion sizes and what you’re consuming, and you’ll be doing your oral health a huge favor. Before you buy anything, read the nutritional label. Don’t be drawn in by the packaging.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene Every Day

You absolutely must practice good oral hygiene to stop sugars from ruining your teeth. When you make sure you’re thorough with your routine, you will prevent bacteria from using the sugar in your mouth to form cavities and other issues. You should make sure you brush, floss, and use mouthwash at least twice a day. Floss helps to get rid of the plaque and bacteria that brushing can’t, and mouthwash helps to finish the routine by getting rid of as much remaining bacteria as possible. Ideally, you should use an electric toothbrush with a good head and make sure you’re targeting each tooth equally. You should also brush the back of your teeth, your gums, and your tongue

If you need advice on your routine, your dentist should be happy to give you some tips on brushing, flossing, and rinsing to get the most out of it.  

Visit Your Dentist Twice A Year

Visiting the dentist twice a year may seem extreme to some, but it’s necessary for good oral hygiene. Your dentist can remove plaque and tartar on the teeth more effectively than you can at home. Not only that, they can see early signs of decay and alert you to it. They’ll be able to do something about it before it gets any worse. They may also be able to prescribe products that will help you to find against tooth decay at home. Getting the advice of a dentist for your individual situation will help you to fight the negative impact of sugar for good.

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