It can be difficult to turn down sweets. Especially with the holiday season just around the corner. If you're consuming sugar, it's important to make sure that you're taking great care of your teeth to make sure you don't get any cavities while you're enjoying your treats.
Brushing your teeth loosens plaque build-up on the teeth which also reduces the build-up of additional plaque. Brushing the gums also toughens them so they are more resilient to gum disease and tooth decay.
How Does Sugar Hurt Teeth?
Sugar from the goodies you enjoy start its devastating work on your teeth as soon as it contacts the tooth. The sugar molecules attach themselves to the molecules of your saliva which coats the teeth and gums.
With the addition of carbohydrates and protein molecules, the sugar becomes extra sticky, causing it to latch on further to the enamel of your teeth. It is the accumulation and build-up of this sugar/carb/protein mix that results in plaque.
The naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth called streptococcus has a negative reaction to the sugar build-up. The reaction with sugar results in the streptococcus undergoing a process where lactic acid is produced.
It is this lactic acid eats away at the calcium phosphate found in the tooth enamel. Lactic acid therefore leads to cavities and tooth decay by destroying and weakening the tooth enamel, or protective, outer layer.
Why Brushing is Important
While brushing your teeth, even if it is immediately after you ate, won’t completely remove the plaque, it can help remove some of it. Even with removing some of the plaque, you lower the extent of the damage it can have on your teeth.
Adequate brushing requires a minimum of 2 minutes, during which time plaque and residual sugary food particles are removed from the surface of your teeth and from in between cracks between teeth.
Again, brushing should only be a part of your dental hygiene routine. Flossing and using mouthwash are additional components to healthy, proper oral hygiene.
If you’re out and about and don’t have a toothbrush handy, be sure to floss. The string and even dental picks are small and easy to carry.
If you don’t have even dental floss on you, rinsing your mouth with water immediately after eating will lessen the amount of plaque that adheres to and builds up on teeth.
It is important to visit your dentist every six months for a thorough, professional dental cleaning. Having your teeth examined by a professional and allowing a professional to use powerful dental cleaning equipment is a good way to proactively stem off the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
At Madison Smile Solutions, we care about the health of our patients’ teeth and are committed to doing everything we can to preserve their beautiful, natural smiles and sustain their quality of life.
If it has been longer than six months, you should contact us to schedule a dental checkup and teeth cleaning.