Sugar vs. Oral Health

pile of sugar cubes on black background

Your parents may have told you to stop eating candy because it will “rot your teeth.” They weren’t just trying to scare you! Sugar actually does have a major impact on your oral health, but it’s important to understand why that is.

How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

Sugar itself isn’t necessarily bad for your teeth, but when bacteria in your mouth feed off of the sugar, they create acids that can damage your tooth enamel. Enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth and protects your teeth from cavities, decay, and staining. Eating too much sugar without properly protecting your teeth can also result in bad breath.

Foods to Avoid

Candy (especially sticky, long-lasting candies like lollipops and caramels), dessert, and soda are the obvious foods and drinks to avoid, but remember even seemingly healthy snacks like dried fruit can contribute to cavities! Acidic foods like citrus, coffee, and alcohol can also contribute to enamel erosion, so be sure to limit your intake of them as well.

Healthy Alternatives to Sugar

Crunchy vegetables, dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and fresh fruit are great alternatives to sugary snacks. Best of all, these snacks are actually good for your teeth and can help keep them healthy and strong!

Keeping Your Teeth Safe From Sugar

The best way to get rid of plaque is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice per day, and use a toothpaste with fluoride for extra protection against cavities. Visit your dentist twice a year to make sure that your teeth are in good shape.

Avoiding sugar isn’t just good for your waistline, it’s good for your teeth too! If you’re experiencing any tooth pain, sensitivity, or see holes in your teeth, it’s time to see a dentist right away—you may have a cavity! Whether you need preventative or restorative care for your teeth, the team at Springs Village Dentistry is here to help you have your healthiest smile. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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