Protect Your Teeth and Cut Down on Sugar
Cutting sugar is a common goal for people with diabetes or those who want to lose weight, but it is equally important to people who want to have healthy teeth.
How Does Sugar Cause Cavities?
Sugar itself is not bad for your teeth. However, bacteria in your mouth eat the sugar and create acid. This acid combines with your saliva and creates plaque. The plaque is what causes tooth decay. If you do not remove the plaque regularly, it will build up and eat through your enamel (the outer layer of your teeth). If left untreated, plaque will eventually eat all the way to the pulp of the tooth and cause pain and possibly infection.
Simple Sugar Increases the Risk for Cavities
All carbohydrates can be used by bacteria and create plaque. However, simple sugars are used by bacteria more efficiently and so create more plaque. Studies show that decreasing sugar to less than 10% of your caloric intake will reduce your risk of cavities
Protect Your Mouth
Besides cutting sugar, good personal hygiene practices can help protect your mouth from plaque and tooth decay. Brushing and flossing after every meal will go a long way to protecting your teeth because the bacteria will not have access to the carbohydrates when you brush them away. Regular dental visits to remove plaque will also protect your teeth. If you do get a cavity, getting it filled and taken care of when it is small will help stop the damage to your teeth and avoid having to get root canals and crowns.