It shouldn’t be news to you that sugar is bad for your teeth. However, our Federal Way family dentistry frequently finds that people don’t know what to do with this information. Many instinctively want to think that consuming less sugar in their daily diets is going to lead to a healthier mouth, but this is not exactly the case. Though this makes perfect sense from a nutritionist standpoint, the name of the game for a dentist is less about eating less sugar and more about controlling when sugar is eaten.
The first thing to understand is that the real enemy of your teeth is carbohydrates, of which sugar is only one. These are virtually unavoidable, and it would be inadvisable to try cutting them entirely out of your diet. So instead of cutting down on what you eat, try cutting down on how often you eat. Eating three large meals a day and not snacking at all in the interim time is healthier for your teeth than eating the exact same food in tiny portions throughout the day.
It’s not just the sugar that is harmful for your teeth
The reason this works is because, when you eat, the bacteria in your mouth is eating as well. This allows it to produce harmful acids which weaken your teeth. Your mouth is under attack by these acids for about twenty or thirty minutes after you finish eating, but it will continue to be thusly attacked if you continue to eat.
Imagine, for example, that you have a single eight-ounce soda. If you drink the entire soda in one minute, you’re subjecting your teeth to acids for a mere half hour. However, if you nurse this same soda by taking a single ounce every half hour, you are keeping your oral bacterial fed and subjecting your mouth to a four-and-a-half-hour assault. This adds up quickly.