Dental Blog

How Sugar Damages Teeth (And How to Cut Back)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

There is usually some debate on the pros and cons of the health of our foods.

One day, fats may be bad, and the next day they’re good. Sugar, on the other hand, is pretty much always in the bad category. Besides having negative effects on your overall health, sugar is certainly harmful for your teeth. That’s because the bacteria in your mouth use sugar as energy to multiply, form plaque, and produce acids. The acids then eat away at tooth enamel, forming cavities.

Sugar can also be very addictive because it releases dopamine in the brain, which makes us feel good. Here are some tips to break the habit and keep your mouth healthy.

  • Get it out of the house: Your first step towards cutting back on sugar is to clear it out of your kitchen. Throw out half eaten pints of ice cream, boxes of cookies, and any other sweets you’re stashing.
  • Learn how to handle cravings: Admittedly, sugar cravings can be intense. Instead of caving in, conquer them by drinking a class of water, or eating a healthy snack like hummus and veggies. Do not replace real sugar with artificial sweeteners. This won’t help because you will still be giving your body the sweetness it’s craving.
  • Don’t give in to just one: If you’re really looking to eliminate sugary food, go cold turkey. If you allowing yourself just one scoop of ice cream, or just one square of chocolate, it’s easy to find yourself on a slippery slope of eating even more. Instead, try to avoid temptation altogether.