The average person consumes about 130 pounds of sugar per year. Yes, Halloween and Christmas make up a big chunk of this, but summer’s not far behind: think about all those backyard s’mores, ice cream truck visits and patio sangrias.
How exactly does sugar harm your teeth?
The plaque and bacteria that forms naturally on our teeth feeds on sugar to create acids. These acids form in about twenty seconds and neutralize in around 30 minutes, damaging tooth enamel. This means that eating sugary foods too often creates an acidic environment in your mouth, leading to decay.
While frequency plays an important part, the type of sugar and the form it takes can significantly impact cavity formation. Sugary liquids, like pop or juice, get into every nook and cranny, making it hard to brush out all that carbonated deliciousness. Also eating sticky sugar-laden foods like toffee can leave more concentrated amounts of sugar residue on our teeth.
Still can’t resist that strawberry funnel cake? Here’s how to avoid the damage from sugar related tooth decay:
- Rinse your mouth after eating sugary substances to help dilute the damaging acids
- Try not to sip or snack on sugary substances throughout the day. Remember: the less time your teeth are in contact with sugar, the better.
- Avoid sugar right before bed
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Avoid sugary drinks or use a straw to limit sugar to tooth contact
- Try to drink half your weight in ounces of water each day, it will help flush your mouth of harmful cavity-causing bacteria, plus it’s good for your whole body!
If you think you need a mid-summer cleaning or check up, stop by for a visit, we are always happy to help.