Stay safe from sugar this Christmas
You may be wondering if we are telling you not to enjoy the cakes, cookies, chocolates and other desserts this Christmas.
Well the good news is you can! We are only recommending a few tips to help keep your teeth and gums safe!
What does sugar do?
Your mouth contains bad bacteria, which can be found in plaque. Plaque is a sticky biofilm that forms on the surface of our teeth.
These harmful bacteria are the reason why consuming sugar is so bad for our teeth. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria found in plaque feeds on the sugar. This process turns the sugars into acid that attacks and eats away enamel, causing tooth decay and cavities.
It’s important to brush your teeth around thirty minutes after eating food to wash away the sugars to prevent the bacteria from forming acid.
What do these acids do?
Acids released by the bad bacteria in plaque begin a process called demineralisation. This process removes minerals from the protective enamel layer on your teeth.
If you always eat sugary foods, you are at higher risk of increased acid levels. Acid leads to the eventual destruction of your enamel due to the mineral loss, resulting in tooth decay and cavities.
Thankfully, saliva also helps in fighting these acids as it contains calcium and phosphate, which work to restore and strengthen enamel. However, do not rely on saliva to protect your teeth, as acid will always win.
It is important to take care of your teeth and clean plaque, acids and excess sugars away as often as possible.
How to reduce acid:
- Reduce sugar intake over long periods of time:
Eating one piece of cake in one sitting is preferable to sucking on a candy for an hour. This is because your teeth need time to recover and remineralise to fight tooth decay after acid attacks from your last consumption.
Snacking all day or sucking on a candy for an hour does not allow time for your teeth to recover!
- Snack in a single sitting:
When you snack, do it in a single sitting to avoid prolonged acid attacks.
- Limit sugar intake:
Swap out sugary products for less sugary products. Try drinking water instead of sodas and eating healthy snacks for sugary sweets.
And yes, there are delicious healthy snacks too!
- Stimulate saliva flow:
Saliva contains minerals to coat your teeth and also helps to prevent plaque from building up. Chewing sugar-free gum are good options for stimulating saliva flow after meals.
- Use fluoride toothpaste:
Fluoride helps with remineralising your enamel to reduce tooth decay and chances of cavities.
Our friendly dentists from All About Teeth located in Townsville provide treatment for tooth decay, cavities and a range of other dental issues. We recommend visiting the dentist every six months and whenever else you may have a dental problem.
If you would like to know more about oral health or to book your appointment, contact us here.