Your Sweet Tooth is Causing Your Actual Teeth to Rot

You may think that sweet drink of Coke will help get you through the rest of your day, but did you know what happens inside your mouth every time you take a sip?

The sugar in food and beverages feeds bacteria in your mouth, which produces an acid that decays and can even dissolve your teeth.

The World Health Organization announced new recommendations regarding sugar intake earlier this month, according to The Associated Press.  The guidelines target added sugars in processed foods. The new guidelines recommend that 6 to 12 teaspoons of sugar should be your total daily allowance, meaning with just one 12 oz. can of soda you have already consumed 10 teaspoons of sugar for the day. If we weren’t being careful, most of us would continue to eat and drink much more sugar throughout the day.

WHO professionals recommend keeping sugar intake to less than 10 percent of your total energy consumption to reduce the risk of tooth decay along with many other harmful health issues. The acid produced by bacteria attacks teeth for 20 minutes after each bite or sip. With every bite or sip, the clock starts over and another 20 minutes begins which is why it is best to not prolong your eating or drinking of sugary substances.

Not only is drinking sugary beverages damaging due to the high sugar content, but carbonated beverages such as soda have an added harm. The carbonation in the drink kicks the acid attack in your mouth into overdrive, making the acid much more efficient at breaking down enamel and causing tooth decay.

Follow these tips to ensure you and your family don’t suffer the consequences of too much sweetness:

Avoid drinks and foods with a high sugar content

Sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, cookies, candy, doughnuts, French fries, and fruit chews are just a few examples.

Read labels

Many “healthy” items are filled with sugar to make it taste good so people will keep buying the product. Check the ingredient list on everything you buy and limit how much sugar you eat/drink. Sugar can be disguised under many words: high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, dextrose, maltose, syrup, sucrose, are just a few examples.

Use a straw

If you absolutely need to drink that can of soda for a little caffeine kick, drink it through a straw. By doing this, you limit the amount of time sugar has direct contact with the bacteria in your mouth. The less you feed the bacteria, the less acid it will be able to produce.

Drink Water

Although brushing your teeth as soon as you’re done won’t do any good, rinsing with water immediately afterward is always a best practice.

 We hope this information is helpful to you. If you have additional questions about sugar-related tooth decay or wish to schedule a consultation with San Francisco family dentist Dr. Robert Walley, please call our office today.