Why Is Sugar Harmful for Your Teeth? Advice from Our Orthodontist

Most of you have probably been told by your dentist or orthodontist that sugar and pop are going to harm your teeth, and as you grew older, you may have experienced the results first hand. So why exactly does this happen? Our experts at DAHER Orthostyle shed some light on the science behind why sugar can be so deadly to your precious teeth.

Advice  From Orthodondist

A Deadly(!? – Dangerous) Combination

When sugar and bacteria meet, they can cause tooth decay. After you eat something containing sucrose, glycoproteins stick to your teeth and form a film on the tooth surface called plaque. Additionally, damaging bacteria ()stick to this glycoprotein, and produce acid which causes cavities in the tooth surface (enamel) over time. Of all the different kinds of bacteria in your mouth, Streptococcus.mutans is the only one that can cause cavities.

How Do Cavities Form?

Streptococcusmutans bacteria uses the fructose gained from sugar to acquire energy; this process of energy generation leads to the formation of lactic acid, which decreases the pH of your mouth and ultimately dissolves the calcium phosphate in the enamel of your teeth, stimulating the formation of cavities.

Preventative Measures

Although it may seem like common sense, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is the best way to prevent damage from sugar consumption.  Another way to prevent cavities is choosing a diet that is high in calcium; this will boost the strength of your tooth enamel. Of course, a low-sugar diet is ideal, but many people continue to eat sugary sweets despite knowing the dangers, so if you can’t cut it out, at least rinse vigourously with water, or even better, brush as soon as possible after consuming anything that contains starch or sugar.

Hidden Sugars

Sucrose is the most common sugar used in everyday foods, but it’s not the only one capable of damaging your teeth. Parents sometimes wonder why their children get cavities despite their low sugar diet. The answer lies in the hidden sugars such as dextrose, maltose, fructose, lactose and glucose. Foods such as yogurts and dry fruits can have high hidden sugar contents, so keep an eye out for each type of sugar in you and your child’s diet.

Types of Sugars

  • Sucrose
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Fructose
  • Lactose
  • Glucose

With our years of experience in the field, our team of orthodontists at DAHER Orthostyle understands the science behind what damages your teeth. The amount of sugar in many foods is extremely high and without the proper knowledge, it can be difficult to keep your mouth sugar-free.  Orthodontic applicances that incorporate brackets, tubes and wires are more likely to trap food debris;however, the Invisalign® system makes it easier to maintain acavity-free mouth while undergoing treatment. The Daher Orthostyle™ team can provide further advice for reducing your risk of developing cavities while undergoing orthodontic treatment, as healthy teeth and gums allow teeth to move faster and properly aligned teeth are easier to clean.


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