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IS SUGAR REALLY BAD FOR YOUR TEETH?
Many people have been told to be careful of their sugar intake, as too much sugar can damage your teeth.
While a diet high in refined sugar can undoubtedly cause dental problems, there are many ways to minimise the chances of tooth decay, beyond avoiding sugar.
Here some facts and myths about preventing cavities that could help you keep your smile, whilst avoiding teeth problems.
You probably learned from a young age, that tooth decay is harmful and even cause us to lose teeth!
Eating high sugar content foods, including dark chocolate and its counterpart, milk chocolate, sugar will stick in your teeth
Brushing your teeth after eating something sweet can prevent bacteria from damaging your teeth and gums!
We can look at what can cause cavities, namely acid, but to understand the full story, it is not as simple as just adopting a sugar-free diet.
When natural oral bacteria feed on sugar in our food, harmful acids are produced that can cause tooth decay. These acids damage the enamel and the sugar affects the bacteria, causing them to damage teeth and gums.
The bacteria in the mouth love it and start to feed on sugar, so they love the taste and taste of sugar and acidity. This acid is not neutralised or removed, what exposes your teeth to the risk of dental caries.
Anything acidic in nature can have an impact on dental health, and that includes sodas as well as diet soda. It has been marketed for decades that sugar-free sodas and colas do not damage teeth. In truth, although they contain less sugar, sugar-free drinks are often filled with phosphorus, citric acid and tartaric acid.
It is not just about the amount of sugar you eat, but also how often your teeth are exposed to sugar during the day
It is known that too much sugar increases the risk of tooth decay, but there is another reason: sugary foods feed the plaque - and form bacteria in the mouth, increasing the amount of acid that wears away at the surface of the teeth.
There is an entire industry built on providing sugar to foods. For example, Starchy foods with carbohydrates cause plaque and sweetened yoghurt can be as harmful as high fructose syrup.
Also, many people believe that diet soda does not cause tooth decay because it does not contain sugar. In fact, diet sodas are flavoured with real sugar and no high fructose syrup.
Just because there is no evidence that eating foods containing little or no sugar has health benefits, it means that foods labelled "diet" are better for teeth.
The acid in lemonades has a significant effect on the enamel, as your teeth can become more sensitive. The human mouth has plaque and bacteria and like acid, they lead to the same cavities that you want to avoid as much as possible.
The fact that sodas contain no sugar, does not mean they are entirely safe
While some foods are bad for teeth and overall health, dried fruits, fruit juice and honey contain natural sugars that can also cause teeth decay.
In case you cannot help your sweet tooth, you should always brush your teeth when you are done eating or drinking. You could cut out sugar from your diet, but you still need to keep good oral hygiene.
The simple good habits such as brushing and flossing your teeth every day and after meals, can keep your mouth healthier!
We hope you enjoyed the reading.
Dr Maurie Coorey
BDS Syd Uni (hons) and Principal
Dental Care Glebe, Sydney.
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