If you have a major sweet tooth, at some point you’ve probably wondered how bad sugar really is for your teeth. According to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, sugar doesn’t just impact oral health; it impacts overall health too.
New research is starting to find that our levels of sugar consumption could be a driving force behind many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and breast, endometrial, and colon cancers.
So how can you minimize the effects of sugar?
Eat a grain-free diet. Some studies show that this is one of the best preventive strategies for reducing cavities.
Get orthodontic treatment. Your dentist Columbia advises that having straight teeth can also help minimize tooth decay since straight teeth have fewer places where sticky foods can get stuck.
Eat what you like, but keep it to mealtime. Studies show that people who snack have more cavities than those who eat the same amount of sweets, but keep it to mealtime.
Chew gum with xylitol. Gum that’s sugarless and contains xylitol can reduce mouth bacteria and help buffer acids to protect from tooth decay.
Swish with water after sticky foods. After you eat something sticky, your dentist Columbia recommends swishing vigorously with water to try to dislodge as much of the food from your teeth as possible.
Help your kids develop their taste buds. Help your kids appreciate the delicious natural sweetness of sugar snap peas and carrots.
Eat it, don’t drink it. It’s hard to go overboard on natural sugars present in apples, bananas and some veggies. Orange juice will spike your blood sugar and won’t make you feel satiated, but eating a real orange will.
Avoid foods where sugar is listed as one of the first five ingredients. Ingredients in the packaging are listed in order from most to least, so if sugar is listed in the first five, you should avoid it.
Don’t brush right afterward. After a sugary meal, your dentist Columbia suggests waiting thirty minutes to one hour before flossing and brushing so you don’t scrape away enamel.
Use as little sugar as you can possibly can - by training your brain and your taste buds, you protect yourself from getting addicted. And remember...by doing so, you’re not only helping your oral health, but your overall health as well.
If it’s been more than six months since your last checkup, call the office of Dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule an appointment and let’s see if sugar has been damaging your teeth!