Why Is Sugar Bad for My Teeth?

Pile of white sugar cubes and an upside-down silver spoon

Your doctor wasn’t lying when they warned you that sugar rots your teeth. While recent studies have shed light on the damaging affects of sugar to your weight and overall health, it’s important not to forget how it can affect your oral health too.

How Sugar Interacts with Your Teeth:

Sugar itself isn’t damaging your teeth; it’s the byproduct that it leaves behind on the surface of your teeth that you need to watch out for. When you eat sugary foods like candy or drink sugary beverages like soda and don’t properly clean your teeth afterwards, bacteria on your teeth feed on that sugar and release acid, which in turn breaks down your tooth enamel. Once the enamel is worn down, your teeth are vulnerable to cavities and decay, which can result in tooth loss down the line.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid:

It’s okay to indulge in a piece of candy every once in a while, but eating it consistently, especially hard candies like lollipops that expose your teeth to sugar for long periods of time, can do lasting damage. Anything that is loaded with added sugars isn’t beneficial to your oral health, so be sure to check labels. Remember that even dried fruit counts as a sugary snack! Sodas, alcoholic beverages, and syrupy lattes are also acidic and harmful to your teeth.

Dental Health Tips:

  • Nuts, dairy products like cheese and yogurt, fresh fruit, and leafy green vegetables are just some of the delicious and nutritious foods that support good oral health.
  • The most important thing to remember is, no matter what you eat, consistent brushing and flossing is the best way to keep plaque and bacteria off of your teeth and reduce the risk of developing cavities.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year to make sure your teeth and gums are in great shape, too!

Whether you want a routine cleaning or would like to schedule a consultation for a cosmetic or restorative procedure, let our experienced team at Laulani Dental Care help!

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