We’ve all heard it before: Sugar is extremely bad for our oral health. Ever since we were kids, we’ve constantly heard our parents telling us to limit our sugar intake if we care about our dental health at all. This was definitely challenging for young children, what with all the sugary treats available everywhere. However, how exactly does sugar harm our teeth?
Twenty seconds—that’s all it takes for the bacteria inside your mouth to actively work and do its “magic,” converting sugar into acid. When this happens, your enamel, the hard layer that protects the inner workings of your teeth, starts to gradually melt away, causing decay that’s not only painful but also extremely damaging when left untreated. This is why parents should guide their children when it comes to the latter’s sugar consumption to avoid trips to an oral surgeon in Salt Lake City. Here are a few things that you need to know to understand the process:
It Only Starts with Sugar
The truth is that sugar in itself isn’t the element that causes teeth damage; it’s the events that follow right after you’ve fully consumed that bag of gummy bears. Tooth decay starts when the bacteria present inside our mouth create acids when mixed with sugar. These acids can gradually dissolve the many layers of our teeth. The closer they get to the gums, the bigger and more painful the damage is going to be.
Sugar feeds the active bacteria in our mouths, creating an increased amount of acids, which, in turn, causes the decaying process to go at a faster rate. Without proper dental care, the more you eat sweets, the more damaged your teeth are going to be.
Avoid These Treats and Save Your Teeth
Sodas, with all their refined sugar content and naturally higher levels of acidity, are among the biggest culprits. Don’t think that you’re safe just because you drink diet soda often. While there may not be any definitive research that proves that both natural sugars and artificial sweeteners are equally damaging, the high amounts of acids present in sodas are enough to cause concerns for faster tooth decay.
While other beverages such as sports drinks and fruit juices aren’t as acidic as sodas, they still contain large amounts of sugar. People immediately think that fruit juices are healthy—they’re made with fruits, after all—but when examined closely, these drinks actually almost contain the same amount of sugar as a can of coke. Popular brands of sports drinks such as Gatorade also contain enough sugar and acid levels that can contribute to the accelerating process of tooth decay.
Of course, we can’t miss candies. Many of the most popular brands of candies are almost made up entirely of sugar. Their texture is also a problem as it helps them to stick on the teeth longer, especially if you don’t brush your teeth right after. To avoid teeth problems, start by making healthy eating habits first. By doing this, you won’t have issues having to give up your favorite treats just to keep your mouth in great condition.