Why Is Sugar Bad for Teeth?

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Sugar doesn’t just widen your waistline—it’s also harmful for your teeth. You may have heard that it “rots” your teeth, which, without a proper oral healthcare routine, it can! Let’s dive into just why sugar can be so bad for teeth…

Is Sugar Itself Harmful For My Teeth?

Not quite. Sugar is the perfect fuel for the plaque and bacteria on your teeth, however. Bacteria releases harmful acid when it breaks sugar down, and that acid is what can damage your tooth enamel and lead to bad breath, cavities, and tooth decay. If you’ve ever had that fuzzy feeling on your teeth after eating or drinking something sugary, that’s the plaque and bacteria that’s feeding on the sugars in your mouth.

Sugary Foods to Avoid

Candy is a major culprit when it comes to eating harmful, sugary foods for your teeth, especially hard candies like lollipops and caramels which are designed to be in your mouth for long periods of time. Remember that even seemingly healthy foods, like dried fruit, are loaded with sugar and can easily get stuck on your teeth, making it easier to develop cavities. If you’re a fan of sugary lattes and alcoholic beverages, know that the acid content in both can also lead to tooth decay in the long run.

What to Eat Instead of Sugar

Foods that are good for your teeth include nuts, dairy products like yogurt and cheese, crunchy vegetables, and fresh fruit like apples and berries, as they all contain certain vitamins and minerals essential to supporting healthy teeth. Not to mention, they’re all quite delicious!

Protecting Your Teeth From Sugar

If you do indulge in a sugary snack every once in a while, don’t worry. Proper and consistent brushing and flossing is the best way to keep plaque and bacteria off of your teeth and reduce the risk of developing cavities. Schedule regular appointments with your dentist to make sure that you aren’t at risk for tooth decay!

Curbing your sugar intake is a great first step to having a healthy smile. If you are experiencing any sensitivity or pain, or just want to make sure you’re taking the right preventative measures to keep your teeth healthy, our team at Highland Oaks Family Dentistry is happy to help you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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