Sugar harms teeth: This is a widely known fact. Sugar not only harms teeth but also your overall health and well-being. However, sugar lovers take an escape route citing several myths and assumptions to consume more sugar and sweets. But this article debunks five myths about sugar and your teeth.
How Sugar Damages Your Teeth?
Sugar sticks to your teeth and allows bacteria to feed on them. In the process, this releases acid that can damage enamel, a protective layer of your teeth.
Myth 1: Cut Out All Sugar
It seems logical at first to cut all types of sugar to prevent tooth damage. However, this is a myth that can result in serious health complications. Apart from refined sugar that you find in cake and pastries, you can also find natural sugars like fructose and lactose in fruits and milk respectively. Unlike glucose, fructose and lactose get digested in the stomach.
Moreover, food items containing natural sugar provide you with essential vitamins and minerals. So if you stop consuming foods with natural sugar, your body may suffer from a serious deficiency of vital nutrients, affecting its overall functioning.
Myth 2: Diet Beverage Is Better For Your Teeth
Drinking sugar-free beverages seems beneficial as compared to drinking beverages high in sugar. This argument also falls in the myth category. Diet soft drinks contain high levels of citric acid, phosphoric acid, and tartaric acid. All of these acids cause damage to the teeth enamel, leading to gum diseases and cavities. Not only do soft drinks harm your teeth but your overall health too. Thus, it is better to replace these drinks with less pH value, like water.
Myth 3: Only Sugary Food Harms Your Teeth
It is far from reality that only sugar can damage your teeth. Acids in food and drinks can also be as damaging as sugar. Alcohol consumption also leads to tooth damage. It dries out your mouth and saliva flow is reduced. This gives scope for plaque formation, leading to tooth decay and gum diseases.
Myth 4: Brush Immediately After Eating Sugary Food
Brushing teeth immediately after having sugary food depends upon the type of food you have consumed. It is good to brush your teeth after you have eaten a snack having refined sugar like biscuits. While brushing immediately after having orange juice or coffee can damage your teeth. This is because these drinks alter the pH level of the mouth and while brushing your teeth you increase the chance of damage to the enamel of your teeth by the acidic action. Thus, it is recommended to wait for some time after eating something. The recommended time after you can brush your teeth is between half an hour to one hour.
Myth 5: Little But Uncontrolled Sugar Causes No Harm
Consuming consistently small quantities of sugar also damages your teeth. Each time you gulp sugary and starchy food, the activity of plaque-forming bacteria increases, creating acids that chip off the teeth' enamel. If you do not eat again this damaging activity stops after some time. But if you keep consuming sweets throughout the day, you are giving more opportunities to the bacteria to harm your teeth.
It is important to take a sensible approach while consuming sugar. Falling into myths and misconceptions can have serious repercussions on your oral hygiene. In case you are already trapped in these myths, take the help of a professional.
Image Credit: freepik