You’ve probably heard that sugar rots your teeth your whole life, and even if you don’t need to hear it again you should know that your Cochrane family dentist agrees! More correctly, the bacteria living in your mouth LOVE sugar, and when they devour the sugary residue left on your teeth they produce substances that wear away at your enamel.
You’ll hear it here, and you’ll hear it from the Canadian Dental Association: the more sugar you eat, the more you’re at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid the sweet stuff altogether, but limiting the amount of sugar in your diet—and in your kid’s diet—will keep your smile healthier and your dentist happier.
And remember—not all sugar in the food you buy at the Cochrane grocery store is obvious.
Hidden Sugar is a Dentist’s Worst Nightmare
OK, so sugar probably isn’t the worst thing a dentist can imagine, but the hidden sugars in many packaged foods are a big problem for Cochrane’s oral health and, in fact, for everyone’s overall health. Fruit juices and soft drinks are a major source of sugar that many people don’t even recognize as being unhealthy or sugar-laden, and that’s just the beginning of hidden sugar just waiting to contribute to your dental problems.
Sugar is hiding in the ingredient lists of many foods where you might not expect it. Pick up a box or can of prepared food in the store, and the odds are pretty good you’ll find sugar listed on the label. It might not say “sugar” outright, either—sugar might be hiding out under one of its aliases, like liquid invert sugar, fructose, glucose, honey, or molasses. All of these types of sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth, and should be consumed only in moderation.
It’s especially important for your dental health to avoid eating sugary treats all alone, without a meal of non-sugary stuff alongside them. When you eat a full meal your mouth produces more saliva, and the added moisture helps wash the sugar off of your teeth and leave less behind for the bacteria to feast on. When possible, you should also brush your teeth after eating anything sweet (ideally, you should brush after eating anything at all, but not brushing after something sweet is just asking for a cavity) to wash away that bacteria food, prevent tooth decay before it starts, and give your dentist something to smile about.
A Cochrane Family Dentist for Your Sweet Tooth
While we always recommend watching your sugar intake, we don’t judge! Going to the dentist is an important part of your oral health regimen regardless of diet, and our Cochrane dental team is here to get your family’s teeth as clean as possible. Ready to make an appointment? Contact us today!