You might have believed that sugar causes cavities, but there is more to the story. Understanding just how sugar harms teeth can help you to make better decisions for the health of your smile.
Acids Compromise Enamel
Sugar is acidic and it weakens the enamel through frequent exposure. The softened enamel is then opened up to developing decay. Specific cavity-causing bacteria are what cause the actual decay. The bacteria are common to all humans because we share them with our family members.
How Cavity Germs Work
The bacteria hide out in hard-to-reach spaces between teeth and in the grooves of chewing surfaces. What do these bacteria like to eat?
You guessed it – sugar! The germs thrive on carbohydrates you eat and then produce an acid waste product that also breaks down tooth enamel.
Control Bacteria Levels
You can help prevent cavities by reducing the amount of bacteria on your teeth. Regular flossing and brushing are essential to keeping the harmful germs at bay, and fluoride use will strengthen your enamel against the effects of acid.
Limit the Effects of Sugar
Processed products and foods containing refined carbohydrates like cookies, cake, bagels, and crackers will also leave lingering sugar acids in your mouth. Sweetened drinks like soda, juice, and sports drinks contain acids and liquid sugars, which are highly damaging to teeth.
More important than how much sugar you eat is how long your teeth are exposed to that sugar. Sucking on one big lollipop for hours is more harmful to your teeth than eating a whole bowl of candy in five minutes!
Get on top of your cavity risk and the latest facts about tooth decay prevention by visiting your local dentist.
Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
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