Most of us have an understanding that sugar is bad for our health. You know that it's harmful to your teeth; however, when your sweet tooth strikes, it may be hard to combat.
Your dentists in Chesterfield, MO have a few things for you to keep in mind when it comes to sugar and your oral health:
Why Is Sugar Bad for My Teeth?
Sugar itself doesn't cause cavities; rather, it is the chain of events that sugar triggers in your mouth that leads to tooth decay. When you eat food, a sticky white film called plaque builds up on your teeth. If you don't remove the plaque buildup each day with consistent brushing and flossing, the bacteria in the plaque will produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel causing decay and cavities. Sugar is the fuel for the bacteria that produce the harmful acids.
Watch Out for Hidden Sugars
Being aware of what you're eating can help reduce your sugar intake. Did you now that many of the packaged and processed foods you eat each day contain loads of sugar? Beware of products such as:
- Salad dressings
- Granola bars
- Breakfast cereals
- Marinara sauce
- Instant oatmeal
Many of these products are advertised as healthy, so this may be surprising to you. It's best to read labels when you grocery shop so you can be aware of sugar content. Many of these items can actually be made at home from scratch, such as salad dressing and marinara sauce, which can help reduce your sugar intake.
How to Combat Tooth Decay
There are many measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing cavities:
- Brushing at least twice per day
- Flossing at least once per day
- Eating more fruits and vegetables
- Reducing your sugar consumption in food and beverages
- Visiting your dentist every six months for routine cleanings and checkups