Eating a balanced diet is important for good health, but we all enjoy a sugary treat once in a while, right? Find out how sugar affects your oral health and what can you do to combat its effects or if it’s time to visit your cosmetic dentist in Las Vegas to correct any damage.
How Sugar Affects Your Teeth
Sugar itself is not the direct cause of tooth decay or erosion. In fact, it is the process that occurs after you eat sugar that can do serious damage to your oral health. Your mouth contains many different types of bacteria. Harmful bacteria love the sugars that are in soda, candy, ice cream, cake and most other sweet treats. When this harmful bacteria feeds on these types of sugars, they create acids that eat away at the enamel on the outside of your teeth. These acids eventually eat through the enamel and cause decay, which leads to cavities.
How to Protect Your Teeth from Damage
Ideally, cutting sugar from your diet is your best option for optimal oral heath, but we understand this task is not viable for most people. However, even limiting your sugar intake can do a world of good for your teeth and oral health. Here are a few ways to keep sugar from attacking your teeth:
- Practice a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily is essential to maintain optimal oral health. If you eat sugary snacks often, make sure to brush afterward. Don’t forget to brush thoroughly before bed and use an antiseptic mouthwash to wash away the bacteria that hides in nooks and crannies of your teeth.
- Fluoride. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste protects your teeth from damaging acids and decay and helps to re-mineralize tooth enamel. For added protection, ask your cosmetic dentist in Las Vegas about fluoride rinses and professional in-office fluoride treatment.
- Use Xylitol-sweetened gum or mints. Xylitol is a natural plant-derived sugar alcohol that is chemically similar to simple sugars. It helps halt tooth decay by stopping acid production in bacteria. It also stimulates the flow of saliva, which also protects against decay.
- Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet that is low in sugars and starches and high in fiber and protein can help keep decay at bay. Limit your sugar intake to a maximum of six teaspoons a day, which includes sugary drinks like soda and foods such as candy, cakes and pastries. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of reaching for that candy bar, and refrain from eating sugary snacks between meals. Drinking plenty of water is good for your overall health and can help keep your mouth healthy.
Call A Cosmetic Dentist in Las Vegas for a Consultation
If you are guilty of caving in to your sweet tooth and worried about how it’s impacting your oral health, schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dentist in Las Vegas by calling 702-869-0032 today!