Your sweet tooth could be affecting the rest of your mouth. So what can you eat if you’re craving something sweet but want to save your teeth?
Why Sugar Is Bad for Your Teeth
Certain bacteria in your mouth create a powerful acid after feeding on sugar in your mouth, which wears down tooth enamel and leads to decay. If you have ever had a cavity, then you have experienced an infection caused by that acid. But when those cavities go untreated, your teeth will eventually decay, possibly resulting in tooth loss.
Is All Sugar Bad for My Teeth?
Some sugars are much worse than others, especially processed sugars that you find in candy, cake, and ice cream. It is especially hard to find a candy without processed sugar and acid. Sticky candies, such as caramels, are hard to remove from the tooth surface, increasing the likelihood of a cavity. Lollipops are also damaging to your teeth, because you are exposing your mouth to sugar for a long period of time.
Natural sugars, however, like those that are found in fruit, have less of a negative impact on teeth. In general, it is important to maintain a very balanced diet in order to prevent any sugar from negatively impacting your teeth, but limiting your processed sugar intake and incorporating more fruit into your diet can improve your overall health in general.
The Best Fruits for Your Teeth
Not all forms of fruit are created equally, either. While fresh and frozen fruit are optimal for your teeth, be wary of dried fruit, fruit juices, and canned fruits in heavy syrup. Dried fruit is sticky and has higher sugar content than other forms of fruit, so it essentially functions like a caramel would. Fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar and acids that can easily wear down tooth enamel. Lastly, canned fruits in heavy syrup are loaded with processed sugars. While you would have to eat a lot of fruit to damage your teeth, fruit is high in damaging acid, so do not overdo it.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Teeth
It is okay to give into your sugar cravings once in a while, but make sure that you are always brushing and flossing your teeth to prevent cavity formation. At Las Cruces Dental Solutions, we offer routine cleanings and exams as well as restorative dentistry to reverse the effects of tooth decay.