Does Sugar Actually Hurt Your Teeth?

Does Sugar Actually Hurt Your Teeth

Sugar is the enemy of your teeth. How many times have you heard your dentist say that phrase? Our dentists have programmed us to be afraid of sugar. Well, our parents really. Kids are going to eat sugar no matter what – and with good reason. It’s tasty. However, dentists see kids suffering from cavities all the time, and we do our best to educate kids and their parents about the dangers of sugar. But does sugar actually hurt your teeth? How do cavities form? Is there anything I can do to stop them?

The answers might surprise you!

How Do Cavities Form?

Let’s first understand the mechanism of cavity formation. A cavity is formed when the bacteria in your mouth feed on the food remnants that remain on your teeth. When they do, they produce acids that can dissolve the outer layer of the teeth – called the enamel. Enamel is there for protection, and thus the tooth becomes unprotected and vulnerable to decay.

Does Sugar Actually Hurt Your Teeth?

The above reaction happens no matter what type of food or drink you consume. So, what’s so bad about sugar? And, why do dentists warn against sugar in particular?

The answer is simpler than you think: Sugar sticks to your teeth more than other types of food and isn’t easily washed away with rinsing. That means they will keep serving as a source of food for the bacteria, and those in turn will continue to release the acids for a longer period of time.

That is what separates sugars from the rest of the food. It is not the food itself that is more dangerous, but rather its consistency and the lack of washability of sugar.

Can I Do Anything to Stop Decay?

The fact of the matter is that the decay process will happen regardless of what we do. You will always keep eating, and the bacteria will always keep releasing their acids.

However, it doesn’t have to reach the point of dangerous cavities. If you wash your mouth and brush your teeth regularly, you will keep the food particles – that is the fuel for the bacteria – away from your mouth, thus halting the process before it reaches a critical phase.

Another thing you can do is keep up with your follow-up appointments set by your dentist, and this is where we can help. Not only can we advise on your diet and how and when to brush your teeth, but we are trained to spot any problems (aka cavities) early on, making fixing your teeth significantly easier.

Do you need to schedule your next dental appointment? Click here to view our locations and schedule your appointment!

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