How to Cut Down on Sugar Intake and Fight Tooth Decay
The mouth is like a hub for bacteria. The oral cavity can house all harmful and good bacteria, given that it is the entry point for many things getting into your body. Therefore, the risk of oral infections is very high for patients not intentional about preserving their dental health. It is why pediatric dentists in Modesto continuously advise against sugary foods to prevent teeth from rotting.
How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?
Consuming a lot of sugary foods causes the gradual development of dental caries. It is possible because sugars release acids in your mouth. Technically, your saliva is responsible for neutralizing the acidity in your mouth. When you have a huge intake of sugars, it diminishes the effectiveness of your saliva, allowing acid attacks on your teeth.
As the acidity increases, the oral cavity becomes conducive to bacteria overgrowth. These bacteria begin to cause dental infections, while the acids slowly increase mineral loss for your enamels. The more affinity you have to sugar, the weaker your teeth become.
Sugary foods are especially harmful if you are not diligent with dental health. If you have a sweet tooth yet still care to excel in oral health, ensure you brush your teeth after every meal.
Can You Eat Sugary Foods and Prevent Dental Cavities?
Before our dentist at 123 iSmile can give you tips on how to avoid tooth decay, you must be open to the idea of letting go of your favorite sugary foods. As much as you want to make room for such foods, sugar will not play well for your oral health. Some tips to prevent oral cavities are:
- Brushing and flossing properly – your teeth at least twice each day. You have better chances of fighting cavities if you brush your teeth after every meal. Still, brushing is not enough. You must remove food debris between teeth to minimize the possibility of dental caries.
- Regular dental cleanings – on top of your hygiene routine at home, allow your dentist in Modesto to deep clean your mouth once every three or six months.
- Drink a lot of water – water will complement the work of saliva in your mouth by increasing its production. Water will not just keep your mouth moist but also flush out toxins while neutralizing acidity.
- Substitute processed foods with natural healthy foods – natural sugars are far better than additives in food.
- Cut down on regular snacking – the more you snack in between meals, the more you expose your teeth to contact with acids produced by foods you eat. Besides, it is not like you can brush your teeth after every snack you take.
- Routine fluoride treatments – fluoride is a powerful natural mineral that remineralizes teeth’ enamel, boosting their resistance to bacteria that cause dental infections.
How to Reduce Sugar Intake:
Foods and Drinks to Avoid
Before you think about avoiding all foods containing sugar, understand that there are natural sources of sugar. The goal should be to cut down on unnatural sugars common in processed foods. Although you can still eat processed foods, you should reduce their consumption if you want to excel in oral health. Some of the foods to avoid are:
- Soda – other than containing processed sugar, sodas have added acidity that is bad for teeth enamel.
- Sugar-sweetened fruit yogurts and beverages.
- Pre-packaged snacks like chips and crisps.
- Acidic and sugary fruits – like tomatoes and oranges.
- Ice cream and candies.
- Sweet pastries like cakes and cookies.
Foods That Are Good for Teeth
When choosing healthy food options for teeth, you can hardly go wrong with fruits and vegetables. Some healthy foods groups good for teeth are:
- Low-fat or fat-free milk and cheese – are great sources of calcium.
- Salmon, tofu, and other fish – are also calcium-rich foods.
- Carrots, celery, and apples – are perfect for naturally removing plaque and food residue from teeth surfaces.
- Sugar-free gum and mint – instead of candies and typical gum, consider sugar-free gum that has a sugar substitute that prevents cavity-causing bacteria.
- Eggs, fish, nuts, beans, and other healthy proteins – are rich in phosphorus.
- Dark-green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli – are rich in vitamin C and calcium.