Health Effects of Sweets
We all enjoy a tasty treat or two, but too many sweet foods can have negative consequences for our teeth. Furthermore, they may contribute to other health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Most people are aware that sweets can be detrimental to our teeth, yet few truly understand how. Eating sugary treats creates an acidic environment in the mouth for bacteria to flourish – they love sugar and create acids which erode away at our enamel.
Acids erode the outer surface of our teeth, while also drawing in bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease. If sugar intake is excessive, it could eventually lead to periodontitis if not addressed promptly.
To protect your teeth, it’s essential to eat healthily, practice good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly. With these simple yet effective steps, you can keep your smile happy and healthy!
1. Limit Snacking to once a day.
Snacking all day can cause the pH level of your mouth to drop significantly, especially if there’s sugar present. Therefore, try not to snack between meals so that your saliva can rebalance itself after each one.
2. When tasting sweet treats, be sure to chew on crunchy foods rather than sticky ones for optimal enjoyment.
Eating hard and sticky sweets can make them difficult to chew and swallow, causing your teeth to absorb more sugar than they should. It also increases your risk for developing tooth decay and plaque since these food types require longer for saliva to wash away.
3. Opt for sweets that contain xylitol, a naturally occurring non-nutritive sugar substitute that doesn’t activate harmful bacteria in your mouth.
The xylitol in these candies helps shield teeth’s enamel from acids while strengthening their structure.
4. Enjoy chocolate along with a meal
It is ideal to consume sweet treats after your main course, as this gives the saliva that helps wash sugar away from your teeth enough time to neutralize any acid before it causes damage.
5. Drink plenty of water after indulging in sweets.
Not only does water wash away any remaining sugar from your mouth, but it also dilutes the acids produced by bacteria present therein.
Drinking water not only reduces the damage done to your teeth by acid, but it also helps remineralize them by providing essential minerals that strengthen and repair enamel.
6. Maintain a healthy diet and brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after eating sweets to keep them clean, free from plaque, tooth decay, and cavities.
For optimal dental health and to avoid dental problems, it is essential to eat a balanced diet with plenty of whole fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Furthermore, avoid processed sugars and other unhealthy sweeteners. Finally, it’s essential to brush your teeth after each meal and especially before going to bed.