Is Sugar Really So Bad for Teeth?
The Effects of Sugar on Teeth
With Halloween around the corner it’s easy to be craving candy but don’t let the holiday be a reason to wreak havoc on your mouth with cavities. While all foods cause build up sugar is the biggest offender, making your teeth susceptible to enamel erosion, cavities, and permanent damage.
How can something so sweet be so sinister?
Your mouth has a natural ecosystem balanced by good and bad bacteria but harmful oral bacteria use the sugars you eat to create acids. The acid destroys your tooth enamel leaving your tooth weak and susceptible to cavities.
Cavities are bacterial infections created by acids that leave holes in your teeth. Untreated, cavities can cause tooth and gum pain, and eventually tooth loss.
According to the World Health Organization, we should limit our added sugar intake to six teaspoons a day. The average American consumes 19.5 grams per day so the most effective preventative treatment would be to cut back on sugar intake considerably.
On Halloween, that number jumps to 384 grams of sugar, or 16 times the recommended sugar intake.
What can we do about it?
Make sure to pack nutrient-dense meals full of protein and fibers to avoid that mindless moment of rummaging the cabinets for something sweet. Read the nutritional labels to find the sugar content and the hidden ingredients. Even reading the labels can be tricky these days, with sugar hiding in so many forms it can be hard to find an innocent treat.
Added sugars hide in 74% of packaged foods under as many as 61 different names. Here are some of the most frequently occurring names:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Barley malt
- Rice syrup
- corn syrup
- corn syrup solids
- anhydrous dextrose
We know that sugar is bad, and we know that it can hide in several places, but what else can we do to protect our teeth? Here are 6 tips:
- Don’t snack all day
- Nix sugary beverages
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Floss at least once daily
- Swap candies for fruit
If you feel concerned about your oral health, or haven’t seen the dentist in a while call (865) 588-8202 to set up an appointment at Cakmes Studio today!