Our teeth are amazingly durable structures. This durability is due to the combination of phosphate, calcium, and other materials in their make-up. These minerals are also found in bones and the enamel and dentin that make up our teeth. As we age, these minerals can leach out of our teeth. This mineral loss can worsen this process through poor oral hygiene and eating foods high in acid or sugar.
The Role Of Sugar In Accelerating Tooth Decay
Sugar, in particular, feeds the bacteria that produce the acid that results in tooth decay. If we don’t take steps to prevent the loss of these minerals, we can lose our teeth. Once they’re damaged or lost, there’s no way to restore them naturally. That’s why you must maintain a steady oral hygiene routine. Equally important is watching the amount of sugar you consume. These are some further steps you can take to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of sugar:
- Brush Regularly – This is easily the essential part of oral hygiene. Brushing removes biofilms like plaque and tartar. It also removes essential food sources for bacteria, helping to prevent their growth.
- Fluoride Toothpaste – While brushing your teeth with almost any toothpaste will help, fluoride is essential. While toothpaste helps to cleanse away particles from your teeth, fluoride strengthens them. It does this by bonding with the enamel and promoting remineralization.
- Reduce Sugar – Once again, sugar is a real problem for our oral health. Not only is it acidic, but it feeds the bacteria that live in your mouth. These, in turn, produce more acid that helps weaken enamel. Once the enamel has become softened, it’s far easier for it to wear away. This softening is the beginning of cavity development.
- Chew Sugarless Gum – This isn’t just about avoiding sugar. Sugarless gum helps your teeth by serving as a sort of backup toothbrush. Its sticky nature helps to pull plaque, bacteria, and food particles out of the crevices in your mouth. Xylitol and sorbitol gums, in particular, have been shown to help remineralize teeth.
- Drink Fruit Juice, But In Moderation – Fruit juice is packed with vitamins and minerals, but it also contains a lot of sugar. Citric sources such as orange juice and lemonade also contain significant amounts of acid.
- Multivitamins Are King – Every part of our body benefits when we get the necessary vitamins and minerals. Our mouths are no exception. Taking multivitamins is an effective way to ensure you get enough. Additionally, adding certain mineral-rich foods to your diet can help.
These are just a selection of oral health tips that you can combine with reducing sugar intake. Altogether developing these habits will help reduce your risk of cavities.
Contact Your Dentist For Further Guidance
Want to know more about how avoiding sugar can help improve your oral health? Schedule an exam and consultation with your dentist today. Their entire team will be eager to share important oral health care tips with you. While you’re there, you may as well get a cleaning to help protect your teeth from existing biofilms!