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How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?

Fall is finally here! In addition to cooler weather, football games, and pumpkin carving, we’re all, of course, enjoying sugary snacks and candy. As we head towards Halloween and the rest of the holiday season, sweet treats are a big temptation for many of us. In this blog post, we want to explore how sugar affects your teeth and what you can do to protect your beautiful smile.

The Impact of Sugar on Your Teeth

Your mouth is filled with hundreds of bacteria, both good and bad. The bacteria is often hidden in the form of plaque, a film that is constantly forming on your teeth. The harmful bacteria on this plaque feeds off of the sugar that you consume, creating acids that erode your tooth enamel. When the acid builds up, it can cause a cavity, a bacterial infection that leads to a hole in the tooth or even tooth loss. Too much sugar can also contribute to gum disease, which is painful and often precedes more health complications. 

Eating too much sugar and not taking the right oral health precautions can create more bad bacteria than good, harming your oral health faster than your body can repair it. If you don’t brush and floss every day, the acid sits on your teeth and decays your pearly whites. 

Tips to Decrease the Negative Effects of Sugar

The most effective way to decrease the negative effects of sugar on your teeth is to limit your consumption. This approach fully prevents any potential problems and allows the bacteria in your mouth to work the way it should. 

If you are going to indulge, however, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure that you’re taking care of your oral health and keeping your teeth healthy.

  • Brush your teeth after eating or drinking your sweet treat. The longer you let the sugar sit on your teeth, the more time the acid has to decay your tooth enamel. 
  • Choose healthier snacks. Be careful though. Some ingredients that seem like a healthier option, such as honey, maple syrup, dried fruit, or coconut sugar, can still be detrimental to your teeth health when not eaten in moderation. 
  • Floss regularly in order to remove the bad bacteria and plaque between your teeth. 
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up. Catching a cavity or tooth decay in its early stage is much easier to treat than trying to salvage a tooth that has been damaged for a while.  

As the holidays quickly approach, stay mindful of the negative impact that sugar can have. As a parent, one way to promote good oral health is to pass out savory snacks, like popcorn or pretzels, or even small toys, such as glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls or glow sticks. We hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!


Schedule an appointment at Maitland Ave. Smile Co. today!

Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like pediatric dentistry, dental anxiety, and the impact of stress on oral health.