Sugar tastes wonderful and since there is usually a holiday or birthday just around the corner you might want to learn a few tips on how to indulge while still taking care of your teeth. Ignorance is bliss, as are homemade butter tarts, but before you pop that piece of birthday cake or Black Magic truffle into your mouth you might want to arm yourself with a little “tooth friendly” information.
Exactly how does sugar damage your teeth? Sugar mounts a two-pronged attack on your teeth. First the bacteria in your mouth use the sugar in food and beverages to produce acid, dissolving the enamel on your teeth. Every time you eat something with sugar in it the resulting acid attack can last up to 20 minutes.
The sugar also feeds the bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth. They use the sugar as a source of energy that allows them to multiply and stick themselves to the surface of your teeth. In time this film of bacteria turns into plaque, which continues to eat away at your tooth’s enamel, creating tiny holes. These tiny holes are actually cavities and if they are left untreated they will continue to grow until they become visible, then Dr. Babin will tell you they need filling.
FYI – Since we all know which foods for sure contain sugar, how about a look at foods you may not know contain sugar:
Cheese Whiz – 2 grams per 2 TBSP
Kraft chunky peanut butter – 1 gram per 1 TBSP
Honey – 16 grams (ouch) per 1 TBSP
Heinz Ketchup – 4 grams per 1 TBSP
Classico pasta sauce – 6 grams (surprising!) per 125 ml
Ready-to-eat chocolate puddings – 17.8 grams (GASP!) per 100 grams
Butter croissants – 11.3 grams sugar (less than pudding!) per 100 grams
Basic Tooth Friendly TIPS – Rinse with water after eating (easy!), brush 2X a day (you can do it!) and floss once a day (yes you can!). Stick to the basics and they will get you through sweet celebrations with minimal tooth damage to show for maximum snacking! Please contact Babin Dentistry for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment.