Is Sugar That Bad for Your Teeth?
Sugary foods like cookies and candy may taste great at the moment but can have lingering effects in the mouth. Eating too many sweets can be harmful to teeth, destroying tooth enamel and increasing your risk of cavities. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the sugar itself that harms your oral health. Instead, it’s the harmful acids produced during the breakdown of sugar. Bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into harmful acids which can lead to dental decay.
Does that mean you need to stop consuming sugar entirely? No, but it is best to have it in moderation. Learn more about sugar, how it impacts your dental health, and how to lower your risk of oral health problems.
Harmful High Sugar Foods to Avoid
While most people associate sugary foods with cakes, pies, ice cream, and similar sweet treats, there are other foods to be aware of.
You’ll also want to limit your intake of other harmful sugar foods and drinks for oral health, such as:
- Barbecue sauce
- Flavored yogurt
- Salad dressing
- Canned soup
- Energy and sports drinks
- Packaged muffins
- Spaghetti sauce
- Baked beans
- Coffee creamers
- Sweetened iced tea
- Canned fruit
- Breakfast cereals
- Fruit juice
- Chocolate milk
- Trail mix
Limiting the Effects of Sugar for Dental and Oral Health
It is not always realistic to eliminate sugar from your diet entirely but you can limit your intake of sugary foods and the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to acids. Start by paying attention to food labels when shopping for food. Check food labels and avoid foods that contain more than a few grams of added sugar.
Avoid empty calories from beverages like soda which contain high amounts of sugar. You’ll also want to limit juice consumption and instead opt for beverages that have zero grams of added sugar. Water should be your main source of hydration. However if you prefer more flavor consider a sugar-free sweetener like Crystal Light.
You’ll also want to switch your snacks to healthier options with little to no sugar. Some examples include roasted chickpeas, whole wheat pretzels, popcorn, apple slices, unsweetened yogurt, flavored almonds, and veggies and hummus. When buying foods like cereal, opt for whole-grain options.
To keep your teeth and gums free of disease, remember to schedule regular dental visits. Your dentist will check your mouth for signs of decay and gum disease, as well as clean your teeth to remove plaque and tartar. Your dentist can also provide you with additional tips on how to avoid sugary foods.
Schedule an Appointment to Learn More about How Sugar Is Harmful and Damaging
Vero Elite Dentistry in Vero Beach, FL offers a variety of dental services, ranging from routine cleanings to advanced dental implant restorations. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tamra Brown DMD., contact Vero Elite Dentistry today.