Understanding everything about sugar and cavities

Understanding everything about sugar and cavities

“Don’t eat too much candy, you’ll get lots of cavities!”. It’s a phrase that we all had to repeat to ourselves when we were children and that we perhaps also repeat to our own children. Is it true or is it a myth? Our dentist explains the link between sugar and cavities to help you see clearly!

Why does sugar cause dental caries?

It’s been proven: sugar causes tooth decay. So it’s not a myth. More so, free sugars are the first dietary factor responsible for cavities and cavities are the main problem caused by sugar consumption. It is therefore important to pay attention to it!

When you eat sugar, the residue that is deposited on your teeth is the ideal environment for the proliferation of bacteria. As they multiply, they produce acids that damage the enamel and soft tissues of the mouth. When tooth enamel erodes, the risk of cavities increases. In addition, the acid produced by the bacteria changes the natural pH of our mouth, which makes the tooth enamel even less effective against the attacks of the bacteria. We then enter a vicious circle from which it is difficult to escape.

Beware of “hidden” sugar

Sugar is found in many foods, not just the ones that automatically come to mind like candies or soft drinks. Indeed, several foods that do not necessarily have a sweet taste contain sugar. This is the case for all foods that contain starch. We can think of potato chips, crackers, and white bread. These foods, in addition to containing a form of sugar, tend to stick to the teeth and therefore be a breeding ground for the development of bacteria in the mouth.

There is also a quantity of sugar in several foods, without it being clearly indicated on the packaging or in the list of ingredients. Sugar can take different names such as brown sugar, maple syrup, honey and molasses that we often know, but also corn syrup, glucose, fructose, dextrose, mannitol, sucrose, etc.

How to help prevent dental caries due to sugar?

The most important thing to prevent cavities is obviously to limit your sugar consumption. Not only in terms of quantity, but also in the frequency of consumption. For example, it is better to eat sugary foods immediately after a meal than to sip a sugary drink throughout the day.

Here are some recommendations from our dentist to help prevent cavities caused by sugar:

  • Limit your consumption of foods and drinks containing sugar as much as possible.
  • Check the ingredient list carefully to spot the “hidden” sugars.
  • Make a habit of drinking a large glass of water after your meals and snacks. This rinses your mouth and partly neutralizes the acid produced by the bacteria.
  • Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after each meal to remove food residue and bacteria from your mouth.
  • Make an appointment regularly at our dentist clinic in Laval. Your dentist will be able to quickly detect incipient cavities and thus treat them before it is too late.

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