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Sugar and Your Teeth

Humans are wired to love sugar and anything sweet. Even babies show a preference for sweet foods. While we may love sweets, sugar doesn’t love us back – obesity rates have soared among children and diabetes affects almost ten percent of the American population. Add to that the well-known side effect of causing cavities and consuming too much sugar is identified as a bad habit. What can you do to protect your health and your teeth from the consequences of too much sugar? Colorado Dental Arts has some suggestions on how to save your teeth, since sweet things tend to eventually bite back.

Fighting the Tooth Decay and Sugar Connection

When we eat sugar, oral bacteria proceeds to consume it and create damaging acids as a waste product.  These acids break down tooth enamel and begin the decay process that leads to cavities. So fight back and brush your teeth twice a day! Use toothpastes and mouthwash containing fluoride to remineralize and protect teeth against acid erosion. Stay hydrated to promote healthy saliva production, remineralizing the enamel with essential phosphates and calcium.

Next, be aware of how much sugar you eat every day and take steps to reduce the amount you consume. Sugar is everywhere and hides in unexpected places – like most prepackaged and processed foods. So reading ingredient labels becomes essential for sugar management.

After you’ve read the label on an item, compare how much sugar is in the food you eat with this simple step. Four grams of sugar is the equivalent of one teaspoon, sugar packet or cube of sugar. So divide the grams of sugar in your favorite soft drink, ice cream, snack or dessert by 4. That’s how many sugar cubes you’re consuming when you drink or eat that product. You may find that some of your favorite sweets become a little less palatable when you know just how much sugar you’re actually eating!

In addition, do your body and teeth some good by resolving to eat a healthy diet. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of your meals. If you have a bad soda habit, replacing it with drinking more water will help decrease your sugar cravings and help you lose weight! Finally, keep your dental appointments with our Littleton family dentist, Dr. Froning, for extra help and protection against tooth decay.

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