What Are the Dangers of Too Much Sugar in Your Diet?
While many of us know to brush and floss our teeth twice a day, these are not the only steps you should take to protect your oral health. Maintaining a nutritious diet is just as important to your dental care, because what you eat significantly impacts your smile.
Dr. Neil McLeod educates every patient on how what we eat affects our teeth. One of the most overly consumed substances is sugar. While eating it in moderation is acceptable, too much can be harmful to your teeth. Our dental team at the office of Neil McLeod, DDS, provides the following information to answer the most frequently asked question on how excess sugar impacts oral health.
Why is Sugar so Bad for My Teeth?
Sugar acts as a catalyst for harmful bacteria. This means the more sugar you consume, the more material bacteria have to feed on, increasing the rate at which plaque and tartar build-up. These bacteria also excrete an acid that damages your dental enamel, allowing decay to spread to the inner structures of your tooth. The results of microbial growth is infection, causing pain and requiring extensive treatment.
What can I Do to Protect my Smile?
Consistently maintaining your daily oral hygiene routine is your biggest defense against the domino effects of excess sugar consumption. By brushing and flossing on a daily basis, you remove food particles from the surface of your teeth that feed the harmful bacteria and increase the spread of decay. Hold your toothbrush at a 45- degree angle to the teeth and gums and brush in a gentle circular motion to protect your smile from infection. This angle allows your brush to reach the gaps between teeth and areas beneath gums that holding your brush at right angles to the gums might not.
About Chewing Gum
Drinking lots of water is also beneficial for your teeth. By consuming water, you wash away some of the debris left upon your gums and teeth. Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva which can also help to remove the food particles left in the crevices of your teeth that may be difficult to reach without a brush. Chewing gum can give your mouth a boost and make your smile cleaner and fresher breath. However, continually chewing gum over uses the muscles, and sends the wrong message to the stomach that food is coming when it is not. If you must use gum make sure it it sugarless!
Going to your dental office biannually is essential to achieve optimal oral health. Your dentist is an expert in detecting developing oral concerns and treating them before they exhibit severe symptoms. Allowing your dentist to monitor the condition of your smile can help you avoid the need for complicated procedures in the future.