You are exposed to a lot of sugar throughout the day. Perhaps you start off with coffee that has 2 or 3 packets of sugar in it. At lunch time, you have a soda. Once the afternoon lull hits, you have an energy drink or maybe a candy bar. All of these foods are laden with sugar, which can damage your teeth. You’ve heard this about sweet foods since you were a child, but what does it actually mean? Dr. David Tillman, your dentist in Fort Worth, TX, explains exactly what sugar does to your teeth, and what you can do about it.
Sugar and Your Teeth
So why is sugar bad for your teeth?
Your mouth is full of naturally occurring bacteria…don’t worry, it’s supposed to be there! This bacteria, just like all living things, needs to eat to survive. It’s food source? YOU! Not specifically your body, but the food particles that accumulate in your mouth when you eat. The bacteria consumes these particles, specifically the sugar. Now this might sound like they are helping you, but unfortunately that is not the case.
When the bacteria eat sugar, they form plaque. This plaque actually has an acidic quality, and this is why it is able to damage your teeth and cause cavities. Many foods have sugar in them, but foods with a particularly high sugar content like sodas and candies accelerate this process and lead to your teeth breaking down faster. This is why dentists like Dr. Tillman always say you should moderate your sugar intake, because it can help preserve your teeth long-term.
But What Can I Do About It?
You can still enjoy your sugary favorites, just do it in moderation. Healthy snacks can go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy. Rather than having a soda when you’re thirsty, drink water. It’ll also help because it will rinse your mouth of excess sugar and food particles.
You’re probably already doing two of the best things you can to help protect your teeth from sugar: brushing and flossing. The reason you do these every day is to break up and clean away the plaque on your teeth. You can’t avoid plaque altogether, but it is easy to manage with daily brushing and flossing.
However, there is still more you need to do. Your teeth are actually very complex structures with many hard to reach surfaces you simply can’t clean at home. This is where a dental cleaning with your family dentist in Fort Worth, TX can help. Our skilled hygienists can clean your teeth much deeper and address those trouble spots where tooth decay so often starts. These cleanings will also give Dr. Tillman the chance to examine you and catch any potential dental issues you have early.
Hopefully this information will help you keep your smile healthy as the years go by. A few daily steps along with routine visits to Dr. Tillman are all you need. If you have any other questions about sugar or what you can do for you teeth, please call us today.