While a world without sugar may seem unimaginable to some, such a reality might offer more to smile about than you’d initially think. At our cosmetic dentistry in Edmond, Oklahoma, our team at Santa Fe Dental see the effects sugar consumption has on the appearance of our patient’s smile on a daily basis.
Cutting out added sugar – the type of sugar found in sodas, deserts, and various other favorite foods and drinks – offers a variety of health benefits. In addition to improved weight loss, better looking skin, and fewer daily calories, cutting back on the amount of sugar you consume provides a number of benefits to the health of your teeth.
To give you a better idea of what your smile could be like in a world without sugar, here are a few ways your oral health would improve.
While the old adage that sugar rots your teeth isn’t entirely true, cutting out sugar would help you avoid cavities and tooth decay. Even though sugar doesn’t cause cavities, it does provide cavity causing bacteria known as plaque with the fuel needed to produce the harmful acids that do contribute to tooth decay.
It’s not always about the amount of sugar you consume either but rather the speed at which you ingest sugar that has a bigger impact on the state of your smile. Sipping a 20-ounce bottle of soda for an hour will do far more damage to your teeth than chugging a 2 liter in just one minute. The more time your teeth are exposed to sugar, the more time plaque has to produce the acids that destroy tooth enamel and your smile.
Better Overall Health
A lot of recent research has been dedicated to examining the impact tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss have on our health overall. Studies have found that individuals suffering from these types of oral health issues have a significantly higher risk for developing a range of chronic health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.
By cutting out sugar we naturally improve our oral health by lowering our risk for the decay and disease that leads to tooth loss. We also gain the added benefit of improving our overall health through maintaining our oral health at a higher level than before.
Brighter Looking Smile
When sugar feeds plaque to create the harmful acids that cause cavities and decay it helps to start the process of demineralization where vital components of tooth enamel become stripped away. As the layers of our enamel becomes weaker they also become thinner, which allows the darker sublayers of our teeth to begin to show through.
Unlike the discoloration caused by eating and drinking enamel staining items like coffee, red wine, berries, and soy sauce – just to name a few – smiles affected by enamel thinning cannot be lightened using teeth whitening products. These products are designed to strip stains away from tooth enamel but cannot do anything to hide the discoloration caused by demineralization.
The less sugar you consume the fresher your breath will become. Sugar feeds the bacteria responsible for bad breath, so the more sugar you consume the worse the smell of your breath becomes.
At our cosmetic dentistry in Edmond, Oklahoma, we recommend that our patients chew sugar-free gums and mints to improve their breath. Mints high in sugar may temporarily mask the smell of your breath, but the sugar they contain will just cause your breath to smell worse later on as bacteria feeds on it.
Improved Oral Health
When you consume less sugar you provide oral bacteria like plaque with less fuel to produce the harmful substances that can damage your smile. That’s very much a positive. And that applies to all types of sugars, whether from a candy bar, pineapple, or plate of pasta – carbs are just another type of sugar.
So, what can you do if cutting back on sugar seems like a really big ask? Well, start by making a renewed commitment to your oral health. By brushing twice a day and flossing daily, you can significantly reduce plaque buildup on your teeth and lessen the damage done from eating sugar. You also need to schedule regular exams and cleanings with the team at our cosmetic dentistry in Edmond, Oklahoma to help maintain the long-term health of your teeth and gums.
A world without sugar may seem like a depressing place. But you can still enjoy your favorite sweet treats if you continue to maintain and improve your oral health.