The hidden sugar of food

June 4, 2018 9:43 am

During summer it is essential to watch your sugar intake. An excess of added sugars is not only harmful to our nutrition but also to our teeth. Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay. Discover what typical summer foods are most harmful to our oral health.

What is the effect of sugar on our teeth?

Naturally during summer the consumption of ice cream, sugary drinks and slush increases. When in contact with sugar, the bacteria present in the plaque (buccal biofilm) produce acids that demineralize the enamel causing the appearance of caries. Saliva helps to mitigate this wear naturally, however the more we expose our teeth to acids, the less time our saliva has to counteract the attack of acids.

Which foods have a high amount of sugar?

Ice creams, jellybeans, sweets, chocolates, pastries, cakes, biscuits, cereals, fizzy drinks, soft drinks or carbonated drinks and bottled fruit juices.

What habits reduce the effects of sugar on our oral health?

In summer we tend to eat away from home and spend a lot of time on beaches and in swimming pools, therefore it is easy for us to neglect our oral hygiene. This, together with the increase in sugary foods, can significantly increase the risk of caries. Here are some tips to keep your mouth healthy this summer:

  • Opt for healthy snacks such as sugar-free yogurt, homemade ice cream, natural fruit juice or sugar-free gum, thus avoiding juices or sugary soft drinks.
  • Avoid snacking between meals.
  • After meals you should brush your teeth and use an interproximal cleaning method. This will eliminate the remains of sugary foods and the dental biofilm from between the teeth. In addition, the use of fluoride mouthwashes will help to reinforce and remineralize the enamel, helping to prevent tooth decay.
  • Visit a dentist / hygienist regularly to promote prevention, early detection and diagnosis of caries.

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