26 Apr #6: Quit Sugar for Great Dental Health
Quit Sugar for Great Dental Health
Unless you deliberately avoid dental health related topics and discussion, you will probably have heard the bad rap sugar has been getting in the media, especially within the dental and health industries.
Many of us know that this is not necessarily a new thing; in fact, sugar has been a “no-go” or a “sometimes” food under most health professional’s recommendations.
The latest research highlights the dangers of added sugars in foods. Whilst reducing your fat intake during the 80s and 90s was the norm, we are now waking up to the fact that sugar needs to be reduced at the same rate. This is alarming because we know the harmful role that sugar plays in tooth decay and overall dental health.
Why is sugar bad for teeth?
Essentially the bacteria that come together to form plaque uses sugar as their form of energy. When they are energised by sugar, they multiply faster and the plaque grows in both size and thickness. They even use the sugar like sticky glue that helps them bind to the tooth surface. This doesn’t just sound yuck, but it also makes it much harder for both your saliva and toothbrush to wash away the plaque.
Your teeth have an outside covering called enamel. It is very hard and contains mineral salts like calcium. These mineral salts help your saliva make your teeth really hard and healthy. Unfortunately, not hard enough to stop tooth acid.
Plaque not removed from your teeth, through brushing or via your mouths own saliva produces acid as it feeds on sugar. This acid is even harder to be removed because it lives inside the plaque. It works away at the enamel on your teeth and eventually causing it to become porous. As tiny holes appear in teeth, these holes get bigger and become what we know as cavities.
Good dental health and care requires you to visit a dentist to have your teeth properly cleaned. The hard to reach plaque can be removed before the acid damages your teeth.
Should I quit sugar?
You don’t have to quit sugar entirely, however some health professionals would argue that this would be good for your health across the board.
Limit the amount of sugar you consume and also make sure you are not drinking too many “diet” beverages. These types of drinks contain acid which cam harm your teeth. If you do enjoy sugar sweetened beverages then try to drink them using a straw. This will minimise the amount of contact your teeth has with the sugar. Remember, sugar is simply feeding the plaque!
Dental health advice…
Limit sugary foods and drinks to a few times per week. Focus on a diet which includes a wide range of foods, drink plenty of water and attend regular dental check-ups. If you suspect you have a cavity, or one of your teeth is painful, visit us at Diamond Dental soon.