How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?
Many people struggle with sugar addiction – and the ingredient is in nearly every processed food. Here in Elegant Dentistry, we help our patients to steer off sugar by explaining how it can damage the teeth. This article provides you some tips on how sugar directly affects your oral health.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay or dental caries occurs when the acid in your mouth attacks the enamel resulting in holes or cavity formation. Your teeth get more sugars and starches from food like bread, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candies., especially whenever you forget to brush after eating such food. The bacteria in your mouth will digest these foods, turning them into acids. Plaque formation develops from bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva clinging to the teeth.
Sugar and tooth decay
Sugars in food and drinks play a primary role in the development of dental caries. If your regular diet consists of eating loads of starches and sweets, there is only so much the remineralization process can do to stop the effect sugar has on your teeth. So how can you address it? Our Edina dentists strongly advise patients to do their part by limiting sugar consumption. It allows the mouth to take its natural job of damage repair and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Should I Avoid All Sugary Foods & Drinks?
As much as you can, do avoid refined or processed sugars like soda drinks, candies, potato chips, pre-packaged snacks, and ice cream. Moderately consume acidic foods and drink like dried fruit, honey, and citrus juices because they can also become harmful to your teeth. Choose food high in fiber and protein.
Perfect examples are nuts, cheese, leafy greens to promote strong teeth, fresh fruit, carrots, and celery. Don't forget to hydrate or drink plenty of water during and after eating. Water promotes saliva production and helps wash away the bacteria and residual food particles within your mouth.
No matter what form it comes in, sugar can cause cavities. Learning why sugar is bad for your teeth makes sense in understanding its role in dental cavity formation.
Sugar and Teeth Facts
- According to a 2017 WHO article, dental caries is an expensive disease to treat, consuming 5 –10% of healthcare budgets in industrialized countries, and is among the main reasons for hospitalization of children in some high-income countries.
- 13.2% of children aged 5-19 years with untreated dental caries (2015-2018).
- 25.9% of adults aged 20-44 with untreated dental caries: 25.9% (2015-2018)
- Limiting free sugars intake to less than 10% of total energy intake – and ideally even further, to less than 5% – minimizes the risk of dental caries throughout the life course.
- According to FDI World Dental Federation, untreated tooth decay in permanent teeth is the most common health condition globally. Approximately 2.3 billion people suffer from tooth decay (dental caries) of permanent teeth.
Who is at risk of tooth decay?
Everyone is at risk of tooth decay, but children and adolescents are the most risk group. Tooth loss in young people is mainly because of tooth decay. Those who regularly eat sugar-rich food are more prone to dental caries. Smokers and alcohol drinkers are also at risk. It can also be associated with social factors, wherein higher incidence happens more in lower-income households.
How to prevent tooth decay
Here are other ways to keep the dental carries away:
- Floss daily and brushing teeth thoroughly twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Avoid if not reducing the amount of sugar-containing sticky food. Make sure to rinse the mouth with water and brush your teeth soon after consumption.
- Limit your snacking on carbohydrate-rich food like candy, pretzels, and chips. They can increase the production of acid in the mouth. Eat nutritious and balanced meals instead.
- Reduce the consumption of sugars rich beverages. Only eat sugary foods at mealtimes.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants. A sealant can help protect your teeth from decay. It appears to be a plastic kind of protective coating applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Elegant Dentistry offers dental sealants depending on your treatment plan.
- Drink fluoridated water. At least a pint of fluoridated water each day is needed to protect children from tooth decay.
- Book a regular dental visit with Elegant Dentistry for professional cleanings and oral exams.
With the teeth cleaning and checkup services we offer, we can aid in treating and averting oral health issues like oral cancer, dental decay, gum disease, and a host of others.
Visit us to experience a family-centered service from the team of Elegant Dentistry. Let us know how we can assist you with your precise needs. Our professional Edina dentists and staff are happy to provide you with the best services you can't find anywhere.
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