Sugar and Your Teeth: The Facts

When you proceed with orthodontic treatment, either with Braces or Clear Aligners such as Invisalign, it is important to ensure you are looking after the health of your teeth. If you have a sweet tooth, it is even more essential that you maintain a disciplined brushing and care routine. We all love a little bit of sugar in our lives, but how much is too much? And how does this effect our teeth? We explain how sugar can negatively impact your teeth, and how you can prevent this from occurring.

The facts on sugar and your teeth

Sugar can be found in numerous foods we consume every day. This includes breakfast cereals, flavoured drinks, energy bars and of course, lollies and chocolates. The average recommended daily intake of sugar for adults is approximately 6 teaspoons. To put this in perspective, a 600ml bottle of soft drink contains approximately 16 teaspoons of sugar!

Within the mouth, there are approximately 6 billion bacteria that live and thrive in its environment. Many of these bacteria are beneficial, however others are harmful. When sugar is consumed, the bad bacteria will utilise the sugar as an energy source, and produce acid that can damage the enamel on the teeth. This can result in tooth decay, and if left undetected, can cause more serious and long-term consequences, such as pain and potential tooth loss over time.

What can you do to prevent this?

If you have braces, and your sugar consumption is high, you have a greater risk of tooth decay. Having braces makes it more challenging to access all areas of the tooth surface with your brush. It is therefore harder to remove the harmful bacteria that produce  the acid which is responsible for tooth decay.

To minimise this risk, whether you are undergoing orthodontic treatment or not, it is important to reduce your consumption of sugar and choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Also opt for plain water, rather than sugary or carbonated drinks. In addition, it is essential you maintain a high standard of brushing and flossing, as well as keeping up your regular check-ups with your dentist.