Daily brushing and flossing is a sure way to keep your teeth healthy. It helps prevent serious gum infection, also known as periodontitis. It keeps your mouth free of unnecessary food particles and builds a barrier against plaque. Taking this approach to your oral health is integral to good oral hygiene and will keep your smile looking bright longer.
However, your food consumption also plays a huge role in the overall health of your teeth. In this article we’ll discuss sugary drinks in particular, and how they impact your teeth.
First, let’s talk sugar. Sugar itself is actually not the problem. The problem comes in when actions are triggered after sugar enters your mouth. Did you know our mouths contain thousands of tiny bacteria? Most of the bacteria is beneficial, but there are some harmful bacteria present that feed off of sugar. This creates acid that can destroy the tooth enamel which leads to cavities. If cavities go untreated, it could progress and ultimately cause tooth loss. Therefore, the end result of sugar after being introduced to your oral ecosystem can be devastating.
Now that we’ve uncovered what sugar does to your teeth, it’s easy to make the connection that sugary drinks can be detrimental to your oral health. Did you know that sugary drinks are known as one of the most common dietary causes of tooth decay? Having a cool sugary beverage on a hot afternoon or after a long day of work can be enticing, but the risks and consequences associated with this habit over the long run should be seriously considered. What’s more, due to the pleasant taste of these drinks and the addictive nature of sugar, we tend to over-consume them and have difficulty cutting back.
Unfortunately, just one of these drinks can set off an unhealthy chain of events. When sugary drinks are consumed the sugar molecules actually latch on to your teeth. Nearby bacteria see sugar as food and begin eating it. As a result the bacteria produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel causing you to lose the valuable protection enamel provides. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to decay and rot as they become much thinner and a lot weaker.
Even though sugary drinks and sodas go down easily, they don’t make things easy for your health and especially not your teeth. The best way to prevent this kind of tooth damage is to avoid sugary drinks whenever possible. We recommend drinking water instead of sodas and juices. In fact, water can be very beneficial and help you reach many of your health goals. It all begins with making small changes to your routine, such as opting for a bottled water with a meal instead of a soda.
We know completely avoiding sugary drinks can be tough, especially in our social-centric culture. If you must indulge on anything containing sugar, try rinsing your mouth with water afterward to flush and remove any remaining sugar. We also recommend using toothpaste and mouthwash products that contain fluoride since it’s been shown to reduce cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. If you have more questions about maintaining a positive oral hygiene routine, contact us.
Dr. Demetriou’s experience in dentistry is coupled with genuine concern for his patients. All our staff is dedicated to your comfort and prompt attention as well. Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.