March 17th, 2020
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be increasing your chances of developing cavities.
Read food and drink labels so you can choose options that are low in sugar.
Certain eating patterns and food choices can lead to tooth erosion (ee-ROW-shun) and cavities. A steady supply of sugary foods and drinks, including sports drinks, sodas and energy drinks, can damage your teeth. Even snacking on healthy foods like oranges and dried fruit all day long can increase your risk of erosion and cavities. Here’s why:
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. When you do not remove plaque from your teeth every day, it builds up. The bacteria in plaque create acid from eating the sugars found in what you eat and drink. This acid attacks enamel (e-NAM-uhl), the hard surface of the tooth. The acid stays on the enamel for up to 20 minutes after you are finished eating and drinking. Eventually, the enamel can wear away from these acids and cavities can start to form. Cavities do not go away on their own and must be treated by a dentist.
When you have sugary foods or drinks many times a day or over a long time, it exposes the enamel of your teeth to acid attacks throughout the day. This raises your risk of tooth erosion and getting cavities.
Eating a well-balanced diet may improve your chances of avoiding diseases like heart disease, type II diabetes, and oral diseases, like cavities.
For teeth to be healthy, they need vitamins, protein, calcium, and phosphorous – and you can get them all from a healthy diet.
You may not realize just how much sugar is in your favorite beverage. How much sugar are you drinking every day? This chart shows you how any chocolate sandwich cookies are equal to the amount of sugar that’s in these popular drinks
Key: 1 chocolate sandwich cookie is equal too 4grams of sugar
Source: United States Department of Agriculture SuperTracker Food-A-Pedia, https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/foodtracker.aspx
You cannot and should not remove all sugar from your diet. Many foods and drinks – like apples, carrots, and milk – naturally contain sugars and have key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs. Avoiding foods that contain a lot of sugar but few other nutrients will lower your chance of developing cavities and have other health benefits, too!
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