Sugar is bad for your teeth.
Your teeth will rot if you eat that many candies.
Sugar is the biggest enemy of your teeth.
You’ve probably grown up listening to such phrases for as long as you can remember. And if you’re old enough, you’ve probably started saying such stuff to other kids, such as your younger siblings, nieces, and nephews, or maybe even your own kids.
But have you ever wondered about this never-ending battle between sugar and your teeth? What really happens when you consume sugar?
Here’s the shocking truth: Sugar itself isn’t bad for your teeth. Instead, it’s the chain of events that sugar sets off in your mouth as soon as you consume it.
There is a lot of bacteria living inside your mouth. While some of these are beneficial for your oral health, others can be very harmful.
One select group of harmful bacteria produces acid inside your mouth whenever it comes in contact with sugar. These acids then remove the minerals from the tooth enamel, the shiny, protective outer layer of the tooth. This process is known as demineralization.
In a process known as remineralization, your saliva works consistently to reverse this damage to your teeth. The calcium and phosphate in your saliva, along with the fluoride in water and toothpaste, help repair themselves and protect your teeth.
However, heavy consumption of sugar can make the process of remineralization inefficient over time. The consistent acid attacks cause significant loss of minerals in the enamel, which can destroy it over a longer period of time and cause cavities.
The answer is very simple: Limit the intake of sugar as much as possible. In fact, it is better to entirely cut out processed sugar from your diet. Instead, get your sugar fix from natural sugars, such as fruits.
It is also important to regularly visit your dentist for regular dental checkups. This will help ensure that any dental issues that you may develop are spotted early on when treatment and prevention is easier.