Having a sweet tooth is a pretty common condition for many people. While the brain does need some natural sugars like those found in fruit, sugar added to many processed and artificial foods doesn’t add much value. In fact, too much sugar can wreak havoc on the state of your oral health.
Consuming too much sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay in adults and children. While all mouths are filled with bacteria, the sugar we eat feeds bacteria to create acids. It is this resulting acid that then goes on to destroy tooth enamel that results in cavities. The saliva in our mouths help to dilute and wash away these effects, along with regular brushing and flossing, but too much sugar can overwhelm the system and accelerate decay.
So how can you protect your teeth if you have a sweet tooth?
Lower Your Sugar Consumption, Seriously
Keep an eye out for the primary sources of sugar in your diet you might not be aware of and work to avoid these foods. Sodas, including diet soda, sweet teas, fruit juices, and sports or energy drinks have a lot more sugar than you might think.
Make a habit of checking the ingredients of yogurts, bread, snack bars, and even frozen meals. High sugar content is in a surprising number of processed foods and should be avoided or limited to protect your oral health.
Regular Brushing and Flossing
Besides avoiding too much sugar in your diet, good dental health habits are a must in fighting a sweet tooth! Not only should you brush at least twice each day, it’s critical you are flossing regularly to dislodge sugar food stuck between teeth.
Change your toothbrush often, every three months or so, to ensure you’re using a clean, hygienic toothbrush.
Pop a portable toothbrush in your bag or backpack and brush after each meal. Brushing removes plaque buildup, which is an ideal home for bacteria and resulting acids.
Drink Water with Every Meal
If you are stuck on sodas, commit to break the habit and switch to water! Drinking water with every meal and snack not only eliminates unnecessary sugars, but you are helping to hydrate your mouth and rinse away debris and sugars. Drinking water is a terrific habit, especially in arid Colorado, to keep your body healthy and promote good oral health to fight bacteria and plaque buildup.
Swap for Satisfying Snacks, Instead of Sugary Snacks
To minimize the effects of sugars in your mouth, remember to avoid sweets and candies that only add to the trouble. Toffees, licorice, and even dried fruit are full of sugar and can stick to your teeth making them difficult to remove. Lollipops and hard candies encourage sugars to stay in your mouth even longer!
Instead, look for whole foods as an alternative to in-between meal snacks. Crunching on raw vegetables and fresh fruits not only provide your body with natural sugars but can act as a brushing mechanism to keep your teeth clean. Choose low-fat milk, yogurts, and cheeses to avoid the intake of unnecessary sugars. Looking for something to crunch on? Try a handful of almond or healthy nuts to take the edge off hunger while avoiding processed sugars!
Visiting your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least twice each year is another great healthy mouth habit to get into! If you are looking for a unique, welcoming, and family-friendly dentist in Boulder, CO, call us at (303) 284-6463 or contact us! North Boulder Dental Group offers outstanding service, comfort, and care to help you on the journey to a beautiful, healthy mouth!