Everything You Need To Know
You may know that maintaining a diet low in sugar is good for your oral health. But why does sugar rot your teeth? How soon can cavities form due to excessive sugar consumption? Find out the answers to all of these questions in this guide from Ascent Dental Group, and see why proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet are so important for preventing cavities.
How Does Sugar Cause Cavities?
Why does sugar hurt your teeth? Because it’s the preferred food for oral bacteria, which will consume the sugar, multiply, and excrete acid. This acid eventually dissolves the enamel in the teeth through a process called “demineralization,” which results in tooth decay.
This happens every single day, and our mouths are in a constant battle to prevent tooth decay. It can take as little as 20 minutes after we eat or drink sugary foods and beverages for decay to start, and for plaque to start building up.
Who Is At Risk Of Tooth Decay?
Everyone is at risk! You can get a cavity at any age.
However, children and adolescents tend to have the highest risk, as they may consume sugary drinks and snacks with more frequency and tend not to maintain the best oral hygiene habits. About 43% of kids between the ages of 2-19 have at least one cavity.
In addition, anyone who eats a lot of sugar is at risk. If you like sugary energy drinks, soda, sweetened tea and coffee, and sugary treats like cookies and candy, your risk of cavities will be much higher than someone who consumes less sugar in their diet.
In addition, smoking and consuming alcohol can contribute to a higher risk of tooth decay. Smoking causes dry mouth and a variety of other oral health issues, and alcoholic drinks tend to have a high sugar content, putting your mouth at risk.
How Can I Avoid Cavities?
Just because you have a sweet tooth doesn’t mean that you have to worry about sugar rotting your teeth. Here are a few simple ways to fight back against decay.
- Brush & floss properly – Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily to keep your teeth healthy.
- Eat less sugary foods –- Reduce the overall amount of sugar you consume, particularly sticky treats like caramel. Consider rinsing your mouth with water after eating sugar, too.
- Reduce snacking – Frequent snacking throughout the day contributes to higher overall acid production. Try to avoid snacking on sugary candy or starchy snacks like potato chips and pretzels.
- Avoid sugary beverages – Minimize your intake of all sugary beverages, and drink mostly water. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after drinking any beverage containing a lot of sugar.
- Eat sugary treats at mealtimes – At this time, saliva production is stimulated to help mitigate acid buildup, and this also helps you avoid snacking.
Schedule A Consultation To Help Fight Back Against Cavities!
So, why does sugar rot your teeth? Now you know! And in addition to the above steps, you should also see a dentist at Ascent Dental Group every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
Preventive dentistry helps eliminate bacteria-filled plaque from your teeth, and ensures your mouth is clean, healthy, and cavity-free. Contact us online or call now at (303) 975-6987 to schedule an appointment.