Why Is Sugar Bad for Teeth?

A line of vanilla cupcakes with blue frosting and colorful sprinkles on a pink counter

Your parents telling you to stay away from the sugar because it “rots your teeth” wasn’t a total lie. Sugar is indeed harmful for your teeth, but it’s important to know just how it damages your oral health before you avoid the sweet stuff altogether.

How Sugar Can Harm Your Teeth

When you eat sugary and starchy foods, the sugar and starch tend to stick onto the surface of your teeth. The bacteria that live on your teeth feed on these sugars and starches, releasing acid in the process. This acid is harmful to your teeth and can damage the enamel that protects your teeth.

If you consistently eat sugary foods without following a proper oral hygiene routine, the acid can yield more damage to your teeth over time. You will soon develop cavities, which, if left untreated, develop into full tooth decay, resulting in tooth loss.

3 Ways to Protect Your Teeth

Here are 3 simple ways to help protect your teeth from the negative effects of sugar.

1. Limit Damaging Foods & Beverages

When it comes to sugar, some sources are more obvious to avoid than others. Of course it’s important to limit sticky candy and soda if you’re trying to cut back on sugar, but remember that even seemingly healthy foods are loaded with sugar. Many yogurts, smoothies, dried fruits, and gums contain sugar, which can promote acid production and possibly harm your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks like citrus, alcohol, and coffee should also be kept to a minimum.

2. Choose Tooth-Friendly Foods & Sugar-Free Gum

Opt for foods that are high in calcium, fiber, and protein to support strong and healthy teeth! Cheese, whole grains, sugar-free yogurt, leafy greens, nuts, and whole fruits and vegetables are all wonderful for your teeth and body. If you are a gum chewer, select sugar-free products that contain xylitol.

3. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

It’s okay to have a sweet treat every once in a while, as long as you make sure to diligently brush and floss afterwards. It’s the best way to prevent bacteria growth and curb the effects of acid on your teeth! Don’t forget to schedule twice yearly examinations with Dr. Peng to make sure that you aren’t developing any cavities.

We Will Help You Care for Your Teeth!

Let our team at Moores Chapel Dentistry help you have the smile of your dreams! Whether you just need a routine cleaning or a more specialized procedure, we’re here for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.


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