Everyone has heard or knows the phrase ‘sweet tooth.’ For most, it’s an annoying attraction to sugary foods. Besides the obvious health repercussions, there are some dental consequences when you indulge in your sweet tooth cravings. By following some common practices, you can help protect and prevent your teeth from developing plaque build-up or worse – tooth decay.
The effects of a sweet tooth and how to curb it
People who consume sugar in excess are likely to suffer from plaque build-up, cavities, and tooth decay. Our mouths are constantly thriving with bacteria. There are thousands of gaps and surfaces that bacteria can grab on to. When we consume sugar, some of it remains in our mouth, and that sugar that remains is used by the bacteria as a quick energy source. When bacteria process this sugar, they produce an acid that can eat away at the enamel of your teeth and cause you to form cavities.
So, you may be thinking, “Well I don’t want that to happen to my teeth. What can I do to stop my cravings?” The fact is, the only way to stop the cravings is a strong will to resist them. Over time you won’t crave sugar as much. However, there are some things you can do to help you keep those cravings at bay. The best way to do this is to drink water. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but staying hydrated is one of the single best ways to fight cravings. Oftentimes our cravings are signs from our bodies of dehydration!
How to protect your teeth against excessive sugar
Let’s say drinking water wasn’t helping, and you had to give in to your sweet tooth just this once. That’s okay! With proper oral care, you can prevent the effects of sugar on your teeth. The best way to do this is to brush your teeth after indulging in your craving. Brushing will rid the surfaces in your mouth of any sugary coating that bacteria could feed on and help your mouth stay fresh throughout the day. Using an antiseptic mouthwash that contains fluoride after your brush can help further protect your teeth from any damage. Take a look at our blog on mouthwash to find out more.
Sometimes brushing might not be an option. You had a donut during your morning meeting, and it’s long. What do you do then? Water saves the day again. Drinking water and lightly swishing can help remove some of the sugary coatings from your teeth. Water also helps produce saliva, which can prevent bacteria and sugars from sticking to your teeth.
Sugar cravings can be a hard fight to win. Taking preventative measures to stop the effects sugar can have on your smile is a step towards winning that battle. Dentistry at East Piedmont is here to help you with any concerns. If you’re second-guessing your routine or have some questions please reach out to our Marietta dental spa or make an appointment for a free virtual dental assessment!