We tend to use sugary treats as a form of reward. Get a job promotion? Treat yourself to ice cream. Did your child pass a hard test? Make them their favorite cake or a pan of brownies. While these sugary treats taste good, they are extremely destructive.
In honor of sugar awareness week, we believe it is important to educate you on just how destructive sugar can be and provide you with some easy ways to avoid it.
Why is Sugar So Destructive?
Sugar has a bad reputation. People assume that it is responsible for all the damage that happens to your teeth, but it isn’t. It is only partially responsible.
Everyone has bacteria in your mouth. That bacteria lives off of the sugar you eat. Each and every time you eat anything that is sweet, the bacteria rush to the sugar source and start feeding off of it. When this happens it creates an acid like substance.
The acid is extremely destructive. If it is left on the teeth for prolonged periods of time, it will wear away at the surface of your teeth. If the surfaces of the teeth become too worn down, a cavity will form.
How to Avoid Sugar
It won’t be easy to avoid sugar. After all, it is everywhere and in a lot of food you regularly eat, but it can be avoided – if you are vigilant.
Some ways to avoid consuming too much sugar include:
- Avoid eating out. Fast food is filled with high amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar.
- Cook your meals at home. When you cook at home, you have control over what is put into each dish. If you make a sauce for chicken, you control how much – if any – sugar is used. This helps you reduce sugar from your diet and in some cases completely eliminate it.
- Pack your own lunch. Many people rely on microwavable meals or prepackaged meals for lunch, but those contain a lot of sugar. Pack your own lunch with natural foods and you will dramatically reduce the amount of sugar you consume.
- Pass on unnecessary sweets. Instead of picking a soda or lemonade, choose water or milk. These healthier alternatives don’t have as much sugar in them as sugary drinks.
- Avoid keeping candy around the house or in the office. If the candy isn’t around, you won’t be tempted to reach over and snack on it.
Oral Care Tips that Help Prevent Damage from Sugar
Your oral care routine will play a huge role in preventing damage from sugar consumption. If you wish to reduce your risk of developing cavities, the following are some oral care tips you can incorporate on a daily basis:
- Immediately brush your teeth after consuming sugary drinks or food
- Brush your teeth at least three times a day. Brush them morning, before bed, and around noon.
- Use an automatic toothbrush to completely clean your teeth. However, if you do not have one a soft-bristled manual toothbrush can help keep your teeth clean.
- Work with your dentist or dental hygienist to learn the proper way to brush your teeth. Improper brushing can cause damage to your teeth and gums. It will also prevent you from removing plaque that builds up.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Learn proper flossing technique. Proper flossing involves getting in between each tooth, working the floss slightly below the gum line, and reaching all areas of the mouth.
- Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist for professional cleanings
- Following through with any recommended dental work that may need to be done
Cocoa Beach Family Dentistry offers a variety of family dental services that can help improve your oral health. Our dentists can do everything from conduct complete preventative examinations to fillings, root canals, crowns, and other dental work. Our dental staff can also perform complete professional cleanings that will help remove any plaque or tartar buildup.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for a complete examination and professional cleaning. We are open Monday through Thursday. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health.