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, The effects of sugar and how to keep your teeth in shape this season

The effects of sugar and how to keep your teeth in shape this season - Dentist Surrey

We don’t want to appear too bah-humbug about the whole Christmas and sugar thing but, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘free sugars are the essential dietary factor in the development of dental caries’. Therefore, we think it’s worth taking away a few festive tips this year to keep your teeth and smile in tip top shape.

Sugar’s not so sweet

We all know sugar is detrimental to a person’s oral health but how exactly does it go about doing all that damage to our teeth? It’s not solely the sugar that’s so destructive, it’s the acid that’s produced when bacteria and sugar come together that wreak all the havoc.

Oral health

Your mouth is full of bacteria that combine with food particles and saliva to form plaque. The bacterium in plaque turns sugary food and drinks into energy and produces harmful acid. If there is a plaque build-up, the resulting acid can begin to break down the outer surface of your tooth and eventually enter and damage the inner part of the tooth. If plaque is not removed, it will start to soften the enamel by removing minerals from the tooth and if this goes on for any length of time, a small hole will develop. These are cavities and once formed in the enamel, the plaque and bacteria can get into the dentine, which is softer than the hard outer layer of the tooth and so the decay process is faster.
If decay is not treated, it can enter the pulp. This can cause discomfort and pain as the pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. The bacteria can also infect the pulp and may cause an abscess. It’s common to over indulge a little over Christmas, what with the mince pies, Christmas pudding and cake, let alone those cheeky stollen slices. Here are a few tips and tricks to help your teeth out.
, The effects of sugar and how to keep your teeth in shape this season

Our top tooth-friendly tips:

  • Give your teeth the gift of a good brushing at least twice a day-remember if you enjoy carbonated drinks and acidic foods, these can soften your tooth enamel. It’s best to leave brushing for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking these, otherwise ,it can cause tooth damage.
  • Choose a brush that fits as it will need to reach those tricky places at the back of your mouth. Bear in mind that hard bristles can erode tooth enamel so it’s useful to go for the middle ground and choose ‘medium’ bristles.
  • Interdental brushes are indispensable when it comes to oral health. They work on the leftover dirt and bacteria stuck between your teeth. Floss can also be used in tight spaces, while mouthwash and tongue scrapers can help freshen your mouth.
  • Reduce your intake of the sweet stuff, and occasionally just say no to sugary foods and fizzy festive drinks. If you are eating sweet foods, try not to ‘graze’. If you do indulge, try to eat your tasty treats all in one go rather than dragging them out throughout the day
  • Beware of darker-coloured food and drink such as cola, coffee, and dark berries as these can cause teeth staining.
  • , The effects of sugar and how to keep your teeth in shape this seasonIf you can’t clean your teeth for one reason or another, chewing sugar-free gum and rinsing your mouth with water can help neutralise any acids in your mouth until you are reunited with your toothbrush.

  • A dentist is for life -not just for Christmas –so please visit us at one of our Sync Dental Centres at least every six months and we’ll check your mouth for any cavities and give you a full consultation.

Don’t worry if you do have a bit of a dental lapse over the yuletide period, a hygienist appointment can help clean up the damage. Or why not treat yourself to some tooth whitening treatment to wake up jaded teeth for the new year and make 2023 your year to shine!

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