From your morning cup of coffee to your evening dessert, there is no denying that sugar just makes the finer things in life a little sweeter. Unfortunately, this ingredient doesn’t do much for our oral or overall health. Combine that with the fact that the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily, and you can see why the cases of tooth decay continue to soar. But do sugar substitutes have the same effect on your smile? Read on to find out!
First, How Does Regular Sugar Affect Oral Health?
Throughout the years, you’ve likely heard on more than one occasion that sugar is one of the leading culprits of cavities. This is largely due to the fact that sugar is a primary food source for oral bacteria. So, once your sugary food or drink hits your teeth, it begins to turn into an enamel-eroding acid. As a result, the more sugar you consume, the higher your chances are of developing a serious oral health problem, like tooth decay.
Do Sugar Substitutes Have the Same Effect?
From stevia to organic honey, many Americans have turned to sugar substitutes for the sake of their smiles and their waistlines. In fact, one study reported that about 80% of adults in the US use some form of sugar alternative. The good news is that a good portion of them, whether natural or manufactured, don’t encourage bacterial growth. Plus, some alternatives, like xylitol, actually reduce the risk of tooth decay! So, while it’s still always a good idea to practice moderation, opting for the substitute is generally better.
8 Must-Know Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Decay-Free
Although cavities are prevalent, they are preventable. In an effort to keep your teeth decay-free, it’s important to:
- Visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning twice a year
- Use the right tools to clean your teeth, like a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride
- Brush for at least two minutes both morning and night
- Floss and rinse with mouthwash daily
- Don’t consume sugar in excess
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat lots of vitamin-rich foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables
- Quit unhealthy dental habits, like smoking and chewing on ice
Since your diet and oral health are so closely linked, it’s important to be mindful of the foods you eat and the drinks you consume. If you are unsure if you’re aiding or hindering your oral health, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist!
About the Practice
At West Brookfield Dental, our skilled, approachable, and caring team is proud to help nearby patients with everything from routine dental cleanings and lifelike fillings to smile-transforming cosmetic dentistry. Our goal is to help you on your journey to pristine oral health and a gorgeous smile, which is why personalized treatment plans and world-class care is always a top priority. If you have any questions about the link between your diet and oral health or want to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (508) 867-2777.