Cookies, cakes, candies and sodas – everywhere you go, there are sugary treats to tempt you and your kids. The effects of sugar on teeth may not be noticeable right away, but too much can lead to tooth decay if you don’t stay on top of it. Here’s how sugar can harm your family’s dental health and what you can do to prevent it.
When you eat or drink sugary foods – refined, processed or in the form of carbohydrates – you’re feeding the beast. Bacteria in your mouth digest the foods you eat and specifically feed on the sugar, producing acids that can slowly dissolve tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. So the more sugary foods you eat throughout the day, the more your teeth are exposed to decay-causing acids.
What can you do to protect your family from these ubiquitous acid attacks? Eliminating sugars completely from your family’s diet is unrealistic, because most of your foods contain some form of sugar or starch. However, you can still control the amount of sugar you and your family consumes and reduce the total time your teeth are susceptible to bacterial acids. Consider the following dietary adjustments:
Brushing your teeth thoroughly after eating cleans recent sugary foods and existing bacteria off of your teeth, and flossing once a day will clean between your teeth – a prime spot for bacteria to hide. Have your family use fluoride toothpaste as an added defense to strengthen their teeth, making them more resistant to harmful acids in the future.
Schedule regular dental checkups and cleaning appointments for your family; this way, any signs of tooth decay can be taken care of early. The European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends placing sealants on children’s permanent first molars as soon as they appear in the mouth. This thin coating acts as a barrier on the chewing surface of the tooth, and protects it from decay-producing acids. Other preventive measures for children include fluoride treatment and varnishes.
There is no denying that people love their sugar. Make the necessary changes in diet and dental hygiene now, so the effects of sugar on teeth don’t come when your family is preoccupied with bigger life events.
Original post by Colgate