Many people know that eating too much of anything is a bad idea; the old adage “everything in moderation” should definitely apply to your sweet tooth! Cutting down on sugary snacks is one way to keep your pearly white smile. Unfortunately, sometimes it can go sour and tooth decay can happen. Do you know how?
Can My Sweet Tooth Cause Tooth Decay?
When you eat sugar, there is a series of events that begin to happen as soon as you pop that sweet treat in your mouth. But sugar alone does not cause tooth decay. If your teeth are not properly cleaned, the tooth enamel can begin to wear down and cavities can form.
How do Cavities Develop?
Your mouth is filled with hundreds of bacteria, many of which benefit the health of your teeth; however, some are harmful. These harmful bacteria feed on the sugars that are left on your teeth when they are not brushed after that sugary snack. They create acid that destroys your tooth enamel. Your tooth enamel is the shiny, outer layer that protects your teeth; if this layer becomes compromised, decay and cavities can form and leave tiny holes in your teeth. If the cavity isn’t treated properly, additional issues, such as gum disease and tooth loss can occur. See how your sweet tooth can go sour, quickly?
How do You Prevent Cavities?
- Brush your teeth regularly, especially after sweet treats and before bedtime
- Make regular trips to visit your dentist
- Eat healthy foods that are rich in fiber
- Avoid sugar when possible (this includes snacks, gum and beverages)
Preventing Tooth Decay:
Preventing the unhealthy aftermath of your sweet tooth is important and the best way to do that is to take proper care of your teeth. Limiting the sugar intake in treats and snacks is obvious, but when we talk to our patients, we find out that sometimes the sugars sneak up on them (and they don’t even realize it)! That’s right, gum and beverages are just as guilty at leaving their marks on your teeth. If you drink soda, it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s sugar-free or not because these drinks will leave acid on your teeth that begin to wear down the enamel too. Opting for healthy choices, like water or milk are always better options for your oral health (just make sure they’re not “flavored water”… see how sneaky??)
Brushing and flossing away the plaque (twice each day) will make it harder for a cavity to develop because you are strengthening your enamel at least twice every day. By adding regular visits to your dentist for thorough dental exams, you’re well on your way to preventing cavities and keeping your mouth healthy.