Is Sugar Really as Bad as Dentists Make it Out to be?

In short, yes. Yesssssssss.

Consuming too much or the wrong kind of sugars can be detrimental to your smile. The effects are worse if you don’t go to the dentist for cleanings and checkups.

There are two types of sugars: those found naturally in healthy foods like fruits, and even vegetables.

The other type is found in the majority of American consumer products: sodas, processed snacks, desserts, etc. Any sugar found in food that has not grown directly from a plant of some kind is the wrong sugar to be eating. Not only are they not great for your teeth, but also your overall health.

Sugar is sugar

Here’s the thing: even if you eat a perfect diet, you still need to brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least twice a day and go in for a checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. A great diet is not a replacement for having good oral hygiene or having a dentist care for your teeth.

Sugar found in healthy foods is still sugar, and the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth and feed off of any passing sugar will continue to flourish.

Minimizing your intake

It’s near impossible to eliminate sugar from your diet, and most doctors don’t even recommend doing that, because your body needs a little sugar throughout the day. The key is to eat/drink the right sugars so your body can use it in productive ways.

The sugar from an orange or red bell pepper is an acceptable form. The sugar from your latest vending machine choice, less so. One is going to help the rest of your body while leaving behind less food for harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on your teeth, while the other doesn’t benefit either.

When bacteria feed on sugars, they produce acid, which then goes to work damaging your teeth and creating cavities and perhaps even some erosion.

One choice at a time

Being aware of these side effects isn’t enough. Without making healthy choices, knowing what’s best for your teeth won’t do them any good. We’re well aware that sodas, snacks, and desserts are life’s little pleasures and simple indulgences. We’re not saying you have to eliminate them, but the key is to keep them a sporadic indulgence rather than a habit, and now and then opt for the healthy option. Healthy eating habits, taking care of your teeth, and getting them checked on regularly is all it takes to keep sugar from affecting your smile.