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If you’re familiar with the saying, “too much candy will rot your teeth”, you know that sugar has an impact on dental health. At the same time, sugar exists in almost all food products in one form or another so avoiding it in order to improve your dental health can be difficult to say the least. Advanced Dental Care of Anderson knows that saying no to sugar isn’t always possible, but knowing how sugar affects your dental health can go a long way in improving it.
Today, we’ll be talking about the various effects that sugar can have on your teeth. We’ll also be discussing some of the best ways to ensure that you’re doing all that you can to maintain a good level of dental health. Let’s get started!
Sugar Itself Isn’t to Blame for Harming Your Teeth
So how does sugar harm your teeth? While it’s a commonly held belief that sugar is to blame for bad dental health, this isn’t entirely true. As any experienced dentist will tell you, sugar itself isn’t known for harming your teeth. The real culprit here is lactic acid, which is produced in the mouth when the bacteria in plaque eat away at the sugar.
Lactic acid harms your teeth by lowering the oral cavity’s overall pH level and dissolving minerals in the enamel. This opens up your teeth to harmful factors as the teeth’s coating is eliminated, leaving the teeth vulnerable and open to damage. Put simply, the less sugar you consume, the lower amounts of lactic acid you will produce, which results in a greatly reduced risk of tooth decay and better dental health overall.
Fighting Sugar’s Negative Impact on Your Dental Health
Now that you know how sugar can harm your dental health overall, what is the best way to combat these effects? Our knowledgeable dental health providers at Advanced Dental Care of Anderson are here to give you some useful tips and tricks you can use to reduce the harm caused by sugar consumption!
How Milk Can Help
In the effort to lower sugar consumption, milk can actually be very helpful. Milk contains a mineral known as magnesium, known for aiding the body’s cells in removing sugar from the body by improving its sensitivity to insulin. According to The Journal of the American Dental Association, drinking milk after consuming sugary sweets can reduce the damage done to your teeth. In this study, researchers found that milk was shown to be the most effective in lowering acidic plaque levels in the mouth followed by water, cereal, and apple juice.
When picking up your weekly groceries, it is important to shop wisely in regards to sugar and keep in mind its impact on your dental health. You can do this by checking the ingredient list on products that you’re considering purchasing. Sugar is usually listed second, or even first, on most ingredient lists, and knowing how much sugar is contained in some of your favorite food items can go a long way in improving your overall dental health.
Avoid the Sweets
As you probably know, one of the best ways of reducing the harm done to your teeth by sugar is to avoid sweets. Foods like candy, cookies, and other sugar-heavy snacks can cause serious harm to your teeth over time, so avoiding them as much as possible can be beneficial.
If you find it too difficult to leave these items out of your diet entirely, consider some tasty sugar-free substitutes! Natural yogurt, sugar-free peanut butter, and fruits (which contain only natural sugars), are a few alternatives that you can enjoy while worrying less about the impact on your dental health
Always Brush and Floss Properly
Everyone is guilty of forgetting to brush twice a day at one point or another, but proper brushing and flossing practices are vital to good dental health. This is especially true when it comes to the ways that sugar affects your dental health. Removing plaque and bacteria found on the teeth is essential to reducing the harmful effects caused by sugar and lactic acid.
Flossing is equally as important as it gets food that may be caught in between your teeth out. Food caught between your teeth can lead to tooth decay, something already boosted by the presence of sugar.
Make Regular Dental Appointments with Your Dentist
Finally, one of the best ways to reduce the negative effects sugar can have on your dental health is by making regular dental appointments with a trusted dental provider. The Advanced Dental Care of Anderson team is here to help! With over 25 years of experience, our dental health professionals have the knowledge and skill needed to keep you on track to better dental health. Give us a call today to set up an appointment or request an appointment online.