When you have got a sweet tooth, you get a hankering for food and drink containing sugar. Too much sugar consumption can contribute to tooth decay. However, sugar itself does not cause decay of tooth enamel. When the plaque bacteria in your mouth is exposed to sugar, it becomes acid. This acid attacks the enamel of your teeth causing erosion and cavities. Ideally, we would eliminate all sugary food and drink from our diet. But as we live in the real world, we have some tips on how to limit sugar intake and how to protect your mouth from the sugar we do consume.
Making mindful choices
The USDA recommends that sugar takes up no more than 10% of your daily calories. Fruit can be a good swap for candy when you want to give into your sweet tooth craving. While most fruit does have a lot of sugar, they also contain a balancing amount of water and fiber. Chewing the fruit can help your mouth produce saliva to help rinse away the harmful acid. So, if choosing between drinking fruit juice or chewing on a fresh piece of fruit, chewing is often a better choice.
Protecting your mouth from bad choices
When good choices will not satisfy your sweet tooth, it is okay to reach for the occasional treat. If you go for a sugary drink, try not to sip it for a long time. The faster you drink it, the longer your mouth has to rinse away the bad bacteria. If you eat sugary food, eat it along with a meal instead of snacking throughout the day. More chewing happens at a meal thus more saliva production which will help to rinse away the damaging acid. Drink water often. Water also aids your mouth in rinsing; and most tap water also contains fluoride. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth to resist decay.
Regular brushing and dentist visits will also protect your teeth from your sugar tooth.
Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates have years of experience and training to help you maintain your oral health. Schedule a consultation by calling 817-473-6227. Located in Mansfield, TX, we also welcome patients and families from all surrounding communities including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.