If you read the headlines on a regular basis, you may have noticed a host of stories related to sugar consumption and its effect on oral and general health in the health section of the newspapers. Most of us are aware that eating lots of sweets or chocolate bars is bad for our teeth, but why is sugar so bad for oral health and what are the implications of high sugar consumption? Eating a lot of sugar increases the risk of dental diseases, including decay and bad breath because it contributes to erosion of the enamel. Enamel is the hard substance, which forms the outer layer of the teeth; although enamel is incredibly strong and durable, it can be weakened and sugar is the number one cause of acid erosion. When you eat sugary foods, bacteria in your mouth feed and this triggers a release of plaque acids; these acids erode the enamel, leaving the teeth and gums susceptible to damage and harm. One of the problems we face today is the addition of sugar to many mainstream, popular foods; it’s very obvious that foods like cakes and biscuits contain sugar, but you may not be aware that ready meals, fruit juice and smoothies and yoghurts are often also packed with sugar. The advice from Essex dentists is to look out for added sugars and to take time to read food labels and check sugar content. Another issue, which affects oral health, is your eating habits, as the frequency with which you eat can be as damaging as the actual types of food that you eat. When acids attack the enamel, it takes time for the enamel to recover through a process called remineralisation; if you eat constantly through the day, this process cannot occur and your enamel will effectively be under constant attack. Rather than grazing and snacking, we recommend eating three main meals per day and ensuring that you have any sweet treats or acidic drinks straight after a meal. It’s also advisable to keep an eye on how much sugar you consume per day; you can do this by keeping a food diary or using an app on your tablet or smart phone; the World Health Organisation suggests a daily sugar intake of no more than 10 per cent of your recommended calorie total for the day.
At Advance Dental Clinic we help our patients to have the best oral hygiene routine using the right products for you. If you have any kind of gum disease or tooth decay we need to correct this in order to have any kind of braces or cosmetic dentistry treatment. It is essential to remember that there are many food items and drinks that can harm your teeth and make cleaning and flossing even more important. Sweets and sugary treats can cling to any plaque in the mouth and create a kind of glue like substance that makes the plaque cling onto the teeth making cleaning them a little harder. If you have sweets throughout the day this can make the situation worse rather than just having some sweets once in the day. There are many drinks that contain shocking levels of sugar including some fruit drinks, fizzy drinks, some smoothies and milkshake type beverages.Some drinks can stain the teeth over time, but if you do not want to give these up, using a straw can help. Hot drinks such as coffee and tea can stain teeth, especially if you drink them every day. Red wine can also stain the teeth if you drink this regularly. If you have your teeth whitened stains can still occur after treatment so it is vital that you think of this when choosing the best beverages for you. Fizzy drinks which are sugar free can be extremely harmful to your teeth because of the acidity in them. This can attack the enamel of your teeth and cause them to become weakened and vulnerable to breakage. Really hard foods can be damaging to the teeth and cause fillings to come out or chips to the teeth. Foods such as certain hard nuts, hard caramels and toffees, even some bread and crisps can cause damage to the teeth. If you would like more help and information about looking after your oral health and making the right food choices then contact the team today to arrange an appointment with one of our dental hygienists.
Having a sweet tooth can often be costly to our oral health and can be hidden in everyday food and drink products. We know that eating sweets, chocolate and candy is bad for our health but it is also bad for our teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed of sugar and cause the plaque to increase and become thicker on the teeth. It also turns some of the sugar into a glue-like substance so it can stick to the teeth easier. Whilst some saliva in the mouth can wash away plaque, this thicker substance which is glued to the teeth by the sugar is much more difficult to get rid of with saliva alone. Cutting down your sugar intake can drastically improve your oral health and stop tarter and plaque leading to gum disease and tooth decay, even teeth falling out or breaking. If you have a sweet craving there are many other options instead of a sugary treat, have a banana or some dried fruit or a low sugar treat instead. It is also essential to really look at what is in the food and beverages you put into your body. Many so called healthy drinks and smoothes contain large amounts of sugar as do fizzy drinks as well as enamel damaging acids. If you do have some sweets or chocolate it is better to have them in one go rather than throughout the day to minimize damage caused to the teeth. Many low-fat substitutes use sugar in order to make them taste better, but again this can cause damage to your teeth so always read the label and remember fat is better than sugar in the recommended quantities. If you would like more advice about having a better diet then contact us to arrange an dental hygienist appointment.