The relationship between sugar and tooth decay has been well-established by the dental profession. And it’s true; the bacteria that live on our teeth love sugar. Once they chomp down on it, they convert it into acid, which destroys tooth enamel and causes cavities. However, there are a lot of myths and misconception about sugar that simply aren’t true. Our Steele Creek family dentist explains more below.
Myth: Eating 3 frosted donuts for breakfast is worse for your teeth than sipping soda throughout the day.
Nope! Even though we all know frosted donuts are sugar-heavy, it’s actually much worse to expose your teeth to a little sugar throughout the day, than to eat a lot in one sitting. It’s the frequency of sugar consumption that damages your teeth, not the amount. If you ate an entire tub of icing in a minute, it would probably not do your body any favors, but your teeth would only touch the icing for 60 seconds, and quickly rinsed off with your saliva. Spending four hours working your way through a Coke, however, exposes your teeth to an almost constant wash of acid.
Myth: Sugar is the #1 worst thing for my teeth. If I switch to unfrosted mini-wheats for breakfast, my teeth will be fine.
The bacteria on your teeth actually have two favorite foods—sugar, and carbohydrates. As far as your oral health goes, snacking on a bowl of crackers is just as bad as candy, if you don’t brush and floss afterwards. Even if you pursue a low-sugar lifestyle, you’re not in the clear for cavities and other issues.
Myth: Coffee might stain my teeth, but it won’t hurt the enamel.
Drinking coffee, especially black coffee, can still damage your teeth, because it is extremely high in acid. Remember that the bacteria in your mouth eat the sugar and then convert it into acid. Black coffee by itself already is an acid, adding sugar and drinking it all isn’t helping things. If you can’t kick your coffee habit, drinking it through a straw can help save your teeth from damage and staining.
Myth: Sugar-free soda, or soda alternatives like LaCroix, will not hurt my teeth.
Unfortunately, carbonated beverages can badly damage your enamel, regardless of whether or not they contain soda. Soda water’s pH is around 3 or 4, depending on the brand, making it around 100 to 1000 times more acidic than water. With that said, drinking soda water is better than drinking sugary soda, and is often a good middle step to eventually going totally soda-free.
Take care of your teeth with our Steele Creek family dentist office!
Whether you need preventative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, or another dentist treatment, Steele Creek Family Dentist is here to help. Our Steele Creek dentist office is a welcoming, family-friendly, judgement-free zone where we only care about one thing: helping you have the healthiest smile possible! To request an appointment, fill out our simple contact form here.