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5 ways to protect your teeth from sugar

19th February 2018

It’s no secret that eating a lot of sugar isn’t the healthiest and can cause havoc on your body such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay.

There are thousands of tiny bacteria in your mouth, which feed off the sugars that come from your food, which create acids that damage your teeth. The acid harms your tooth’s enamel, (protective layer) as it causes you to lose valuable minerals. Luckily saliva can help to combat this and is a nature defence to demineralisation, however if your teeth are exposed to many of these ‘acid attacks’, your saliva will struggle to cope and over time a hole in your tooth may form, otherwise known as a cavity.

Here are 5 ways to help protect your teeth from sugar:

1. Limit your sugar intake

The most obvious one is to cut down on your sugar intake. Try and make simple sugar swaps, for example instead of having a piece of cake at your desk at 4pm, have a plain yogurt with some fruit added to it. Other sugar solutions are having less sugar in your brew and reading food labels before popping them into your cart at the supermarket.

However, as everything should be eaten in moderation, when you do have a sugary snack, try and eat it at meal-times only, to limit the number of times your teeth are exposed to these ‘acid attacks’, rather than throughout the day.

2. Chew sugar-free gum after eating

As saliva is your best natural defence against acids causing demineralisation, you can help give it a boost by chewing sugar-free gum as this helps to stimulate saliva production.

3. Keep on top of your oral health

Another obvious tip, but helping to control the bacteria in your mouth by brushing them away twice a day is essential. Flossing is also vitally important, as bacteria love to nestle and grow in between teeth.

However, beware NOT to brush your teeth straight after eating, as this can cause more damage by brushing acid into your enamel. Instead wait at least 45 minutes to brush.

4. Drink through paper straws

Another great tip is to limit the contact between your teeth and the sugar, by drinking sugary drinks, such a fruit juice or fizzy drinks through a paper straw. This way the sugar bypasses the front of your teeth, which gives the bacteria less sugar to feed off, thus producing less acid.

5. Visit us regularly for check-ups

It’s best to have regular check-ups with the dentist as not only can we catch a small cavity before it becomes a bigger problem but we also spot the warning signs of poor oral hygiene, for example a build up of plaque and tartar that are good news to hoarding bacteria but bad news for your health as you’re more at risk of sugar-related damage.

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