Cutting out the excess sugar in your diet will definitely be in your best interest not just for your waistline but for your oral health. Typically, tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and produce acids. These acids remove minerals in your tooth’s enamel and cause cavities over time.
Sugar substitutes, such as those found in sugar-free drinks and snacks, will typically lessen your risk of suffering from dental decay. One of the most commonly used sugar substitutes is Xylitol. It is a natural sweetener derived from plants. Xylitol is used in products like chewing gum, breath mints, toothpaste, etc. It is known to prevent bacterial growth in your mouth, thus fighting cavities. Xylitol also increases the amount of saliva in your mouth which helps to buffer these acids.
While those sugar substitutes have several benefits, there are, unfortunately, other ingredients in many of those sugar-free snacks and drinks that are not good for your teeth.
- Sugar-free or not, drinks with increased acidic properties and low pH levels can weaken your enamel and strip it away over time, which can lead to dental decay. Sugar-free drinks like diet soda can soften the enamel by up to 50 percent.
- Certain foods contain chemicals called chelators which bind other chemicals to calcium. This can cause erosive damage to your teeth.
So what can you do to protect your pearly whites? The following are some of the things you may want to try:
- Choosing drinks and snacks that have a low content of acid to avoid stripping away of your enamel and increasing your sensitivity. Drinks such as herbal teas, soy milk, and of course water tend to have the least negative effects on teeth in terms of acidity.
- Avoiding brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming anything acidic. Acidic foods, like oranges and lemons, can soften tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state.
- Drinking through a straw will also minimize acidic contact with your teeth.
- Avoiding drinking acidic drinks like diet soda in the morning: Usually, your salivary calcium levels are low in the morning. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to those acids.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Our phone number is (310) 454-0912. Dentistry by Design is located at 881 Alma Real Drive, Suite 205A, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 Website:www.palisadesdentistry.com
Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only. The information is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, claims, suggestions, diagnosis, counseling, or treatment of any kind under any circumstances.