How Does Sugar Affect Teeth?

You hear it time and time again, eating too much sugar can lead to a cavity filled mouth — but exactly how does that happen? The sugar itself isn’t what causes damage, rather it’s the process of what happens to the sugar once consumed that does.

Learn more about the effect sugar has on teeth below. 
How do you get cavities?

Your mouth is naturally full of bacteria, many of which are good for your oral health! Harmful bacteria comes into play when sugar is present. This bacteria feeds on the sugars in your mouth to create acids that destroy the protective outer layer of your teeth — known as tooth enamel. Cavities are created by these acids and without treatment can seriously hurt your tooth!

So, how can these acids be stopped?

Fortunately, there is a natural process of demineralization and remineralization (think of it as a tug-of-war) that occurs in the mouth. As these acids attack the important minerals in your tooth enamel (demineralization), your saliva plays a key role in their restoration (remineralization). Saliva contains minerals like calcium and phosphates that help repair teeth! But limiting your sugar intake is key to giving your saliva a chance to fix any damage.

How else can I help remineralize tooth enamel?

Aside from limiting sugar, stimulating saliva flow! This can be done by chewing sugar free gum or gum that is sweetened with xylitol. Also, incorporating more fibrous veggies and fruits into your diet can help bathe your teeth in saliva and thus, important minerals.

Milk, cheese, and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and phosphates as well. Finally, fluoride is another mineral that can repair weakened enamel so be sure to brush two minutes, twice a day with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste.

Add regular dental visits with Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dentistry into the mix and your family has the best chance of winning the battle against tooth decay! With three convenient Long Island locations, we specialize in caring for children’s teeth in a comfortable and caring environment. Contact us to request an appointment today!