Summer is here, which means you’re probably spending a lot more time outdoors than not. If you’re like us, that means you’ve been snacking on all sorts of sugar-laden treats like fizzy drinks, ice cream, and sweets. But have you ever wondered what those treats are doing to your teeth?
The answer is: A LOT. Snacks high in sugar can lead to tooth decay! So, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about sugar, how it can affect your teeth, and the best ways to maintain good oral health this summer!
How does sugar affect your teeth?
Sugar causes plaque to build up on your teeth, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.
When you eat sugary foods, bacteria in your mouth use the sugar as fuel to create acid that erodes tooth enamel. If you don’t brush and clean between your teeth after eating sugary snacks, those bacteria will spread even more quickly throughout your mouth.
Should I brush straight after eating sugar?
Try not to brush immediately after eating or drinking sugary foods.
By brushing right after, you are helping the sugar erode your teeth. Wait at least an hour after consuming something sweet before brushing your teeth so that the sugars have time to dissolve naturally in your mouth and your saliva can neutralise any acids. Drinking water will also help with this.
Does cutting sugar help teeth?
Yes! Cutting sugar is one of the best things you can do to improve your oral health. It will take some time for your mouth to adjust, but once it does, you’ll notice that your teeth feel stronger and healthier. You’ll also notice that plaque build-up will be less and when it does occur, it’s much easier to remove!
Does rinsing with water remove sugar?
Yes, drink lots of water throughout the day, at least 8 glasses.
Water helps wash away plaque build-up on teeth and can even help prevent tooth decay.
What are good sugar alternatives?
Straight swap sugar alternatives are sweeteners that have a lower glycemic index than regular white sugar.
They include honey, Stevia, and fruit juices (cranberry, grapefruit, apple, and orange juices all have lower glycemic indices than white sugar).
There are lots of alternatives for tasty sugar snacks out there—you just have to know where to look. However try to confine these to mealtimes- even though they are lower in sugar the acid in fruit juices can damage tooth enamel.
If you’re looking for something crunchy that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your smile… look no further than carrots! Carrots are naturally sweet and crunchy.
How can I keep my teeth healthy in summer?
You can help your teeth stay strong and healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for 2 minutes, flossing or using interdental brushes once a day, and if you wish you can rinse with mouthwash in between meals- but make sure it is alcohol free mouthwash!
If you are at all worried about your family’s oral health at this time of year you can always book a check-up or hygienist appointment during the summer months to put your mind at ease and ask any further questions you may have.
We are here to help!