Sweet treats are always welcome for both children and adults. Indulging in candy or a cupcake every now and then is totally fine, but for those with a chronic sweet tooth, their sugar consumption may be impacting their dental health and wellness. But how? Learning the connection between sugar intake and oral health problems can help patients in making educated decisions regarding their nutrition.
How does sugar impact oral health?
Sugar in general is bad for the smile. It is often correlated with the development of cavities, as well as changes to the waistline. But sugar also plays a part in oral health. This is because sugar feeds off of bacteria in the mouth and can form plaque, a sticky substance that is found on the surfaces of the teeth. Plaque can be brushed off with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, but if it is not, it hardens and becomes a substance that can only be removed with the assistance of a dental professional. It can also contribute to other problems such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, stained teeth, sensitive teeth, and in severe cases, tooth loss.
How can I reduce damage to the smile from sugar consumption?
Below are a few tips from Dr. Kevin Winters of The Hills Dental Spa Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Austin, TX regarding ways to keep the smile healthy while occasionally enjoying sugary sweets:
- Brush teeth after every meal, and floss at least once a day to remove food and sugars from the smile
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing at least twice a day
- Chew sugar free gum with Xylitol instead of chewing sugary gums
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and evaluation
- Drink lots of water to wash away food particles from the teeth and gums
- Reduce sugar consumption whenever you can
Learn more about sugar consumption and oral health
Everyone loves sugary treats, but if they are affecting your oral health and wellness, it might be time to speak to a dentist about controlling your sugar cravings! Dr. Kevin Winters and the team at The Hills Dental Spa Cosmetic and Family Dentistry are here to help. Call the practice at (512) 347-0044 to request a consultation visit with our team at 6836 Bee Cave Road, Building 1, Suite #300 in Austin, TX.