Every Thursday, your boss brings in donuts for the entire office – and try as you might, your sweet tooth always gets the best of you. Although you hate to admit it, you’ve had a love of sugary snacks since you were a kid and you indulge a little more than you should. Although your penchant for sweet treats hasn’t affected your waistline, it could be damaging other parts of you that are just as noticeable and important – like your smile. In this post, Dr. Sarah Pitarra, your dentist in Corpus Christi, teaches you how you can limit the negative effects of sugar on your teeth.
Why Is Sugar Bad For Teeth?
Dr. Pitarra explains that while sugar may be pleasing to your taste buds and tongue, it can be detrimental to your teeth and gums. Bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar and combines with it to create acids that break down the enamel, or hard outer covering of your teeth. Whether it’s a soda, an ice cream cone, or a bag of potato chips, carbohydrates are the biggest source of fuel for your teeth and deciding to eat these foods causes “acid attacks,” for about 20 minutes after you indulge. These acid attacks and sugar consumption can lead to:
- Tooth decay
- Enamel wear
- Acid erosion
- Gum disease
How Can I Limit The Negative Effects Of Sugar?
Dr. Pitarra recommends the strategies below to limit the effects of sugar:
- Eat a balanced diet of nutritious foods that’s centered around vegetables, protein, dairy products, and some fruits and grains.
- Check out food labels to see if there are “hidden sugars” you’re ingesting without knowing it.
- Limit snacking since how you eat is as important as what you eat.
- Avoid sugary foods that are meant to linger in the mouth – like hard candies, mints, and sticky/chewy varieties of sweet treats like caramels.
- Cut out sodas and fruit juices which bathe your teeth in sugar with every sip.
- Enjoy snacks like yogurt, veggies and hummus or dip, and sugarless gum. And say cheese, since this healthy treat makes your enamel stronger.
- Wait to eat your sweets until right before you brush your teeth.
And, you should remember the phrase 2x2x2 – brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and see Dr. Pitarra two times a year for preventive care like exams and cleanings.
Now that you know some of the best ways to have your cake and eat it, too – all while keeping your smile bright – schedule your appointment with Dr. Sarah Pitarra today!