We're often told about the negative effects of sugar on our health, but how about our oral health?
You're probably aware that sugar causes cavities, but do you know how the process takes place? Have you considered monitoring or lowering your sugar intake?
Your dentist in St. Paul, MN has some helpful tips for keeping the sugar bugs at bay:
Understanding the Science of Sugar and Oral Health
Believe it or not, sugar itself is not the cause of tooth decay and cavities. Instead, it's the chain of events that it triggers in your mouth that causes decay.
Each day when you eat, the bacteria in your mouth create a sticky white film called plaque. Sugar fuels the bacteria in plaque, which produce acids. It's those acids that eat away at your tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Your regular brushing and flossing routine should remove the plaque from your teeth, and this is why being diligent about your home care routine is so important.
Monitoring Your Sugar Intake
It's hard to reduce your sugar consumption when it's found in almost every processed or packaged food that we eat, sometimes in very large quantities. Being aware of this is half the battle, so here are some foods to watch out for that you might not suspect contain a lot of sugar:
- Granola bars
- Salad dressings
- Marinara sauce
- Instant oatmeal
- Canned or dried fruit
Some of these products are surprising since we think of them as "healthy." However, reading nutrition labels as you shop and being aware of the products you purchase will help you stay on top of your sugar intake. You can also try making certain items such as marinara sauce or salad dressing at home, where you can control the amount of sugar that is put into it.
Call Our Highland Park Dental Clinic
If you'd like to discuss your nutrition further or schedule your next appointment, give your team at Brimhall Dentistry a call today. We're happy to share tips on diet and oral health!