The effect of sugar on your teeth

It will come to no surprise to you that sugar is bad for your teeth. Frequent sugar consumption can lead to poor oral health. The most common complaint when visiting the dentist is sugar related problems.

Recently it has been reported by The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons that baby teeth loss has increased by 24% in the last decade due to sugary diets

Tooth decay is preventable in both adults and children by reducing the frequency with which we consume sugary food and drink, visiting the dentist regularly and brushing teeth twice a day.

How Sugar can cause cavities  

Depending on the amount, type and form of sugar consumed it can depend on the severity of the impact on your teeth but the effects remain the same – cavities. How often you consume sugar has the biggest effect not the amount consumed.  For example, a can of fizzy drink is not as harmful to your tooth enamel if you drink all of it in a few minutes versus sipping the can over a few hours.

Plaque, is always forming on your teeth and gums and plaque contains bacteria. The bacteria contained in the plaque feeds on the sugar in foods you eat or drink. Acids are created in about 20 seconds and last for about 30 minutes. Those acids can destroy your tooth enamel over time. Acidic environments promote cavities.

How can cavities be prevented

Even though sugar is in almost everything we eat, it is possible to prevent tooth decay by:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice each day
  • Cleaning between your teeth at least once each day
  • Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash
  • Seeing your dentist at least twice a year for teeth cleaning and check-ups
  • Avoiding food and drinks high in sugar, such as fizzy drinks, juice and sweets, in between meals.

How to reduce sugar in your daily diet

Go a step farther, reduce your overall sugar consumption by incorporating these steps into you and your families lives

  • Eat a good breakfast – Some breakfast cereals contain high levels of sugar, therefore switching to a lower sugar cereal and not adding sugar yourself will have a massive impact on your dental health. Eating a good breakfast will also reduce snacking later in the morning
  • Healthy snacks – Snacks such as nuts, sugar free snacks and vegetables provide great alternatives to biscuits as they provide that energy boost you need.
  • Check the sugar quantity on products – Look out for the traffic system on products and check the sugar quantity before you buy
  • Don’t add sugar to anything – try to stop adding sugar to your cereal, coffee and tea
  • Don’t eat anything the hour before you go to bed
  • Don’t have too many smoothies – Eat fruit whole as when eating fruit in smoothies it releases sugars which will coat the whole tooth
  • Cut back on alcohol - Alcoholic drinks account for 11% of the UK population’s daily intake of added sugar. Try to moderate the amount of alcoholic drinks you have and have some water nearby as it helps wash some of the sugar from the mouth.

If you have any queries about anything you’ve read in my blog please email me at stuart@spiresdental.co.uk