If you love sweets, the holiday season can be particularly damaging to your teeth. Luckily, there are ways to keep your teeth in great health that you may never have considered. Check out these six fascinating facts about sugar and keep your teeth in good condition well into the new year.
1. It takes 20 minutes for sugar to damage your teeth.
When you eat sweets, the bacteria in plaque feast on the sugar in your food and metabolize it. After about 20 minutes, the bacteria will then secrete harmful acids, which can corrode your dental enamel and lead to tooth decay. If you can quickly brush away these harmful bacteria before the 20 minute mark, you can actually stop the corrosion process in its tracks!
2. Chewing certain kinds of gum can actually be beneficial.
While you may have thought gum was harmful to your teeth, this is not always the case! Chewing sugar-free gum with Xylitol can actually be beneficial to your oral health. By boosting your saliva production, this gum helps your mouth to naturally fight against tooth decay.
3. If you have a high sugar intake, drinking water can help save your teeth.
The fluoride in your drinking water actually helps to improve your oral health. When you drink fluoridated water, it helps to remineralize your dental enamel. This not only serves to prevent the effects of tooth decay, but also reverses the earlier stages of decay as well!
4. It’s not about the amount of sugar you eat—it’s the time it takes you to eat it!
When sugary sweets like hard candies or sticky toffee linger in your mouth for an extended period of time, it allows more time for the bacteria in plaque to feast on the sugars in your food. This means they’ll also continuously release harmful acids onto your dental enamel for a longer interval of time, causing more damage to your teeth. Therefore, it is better to eat sweets that you can quickly swallow—just don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards!
5. You may be eating sugar and not even know it.
Next time you’re grocery shopping, take a minute to look at the labels on your items. You’ll soon discover that a large number foods contain added sugar—even the supposedly healthy ones! Low-fat yogurt, ketchup, baked beans, and even canned soup all contained added sugars that can lead to tooth decay.
6. Certain foods and beverages can help reduce the effects of sugar.
Did you know that crunchy fruits and vegetables can actually help to scrape away the plaque on your teeth? This can help to reduce the harmful acids that are released onto your dental enamel. Cheese is also beneficial as it raises the pH balance of your mouth, neutralizing the acids that wear away at your teeth. You might also consider having a daily cup of tea without sugar. Black and green teas slow the growth of bacteria in your mouth that would otherwise lead to decay.
If you want to prevent tooth decay, be sure to schedule your next professional dental cleaning! Call Caputo Dental in Naperville today to set up your appointment.