Dr. Ben Lambeth, DDS & Dr. Megumi Lambeth, DDS

310 East Main St., Suite 335 | Carrboro, NC 27510

How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

Bowl of multicolored M&Ms sitting on a white table

Everyone knows sugar isn’t good for your teeth, but do you know why? When bad bacteria (plaque) comes into contact with sugar, an acid is produced. The acid activates almost as soon as sugar is consumed, and lasts up to 30 minutes. It can erode your enamel and cause tooth decay and cavities over time.

Ways to Eat Sugar While Protecting Your Teeth

Sometimes it’s hard to completely stay away from sugar, so here are some suggestions you may find helpful for keeping your teeth healthy while indulging in a sweet treat.

  • Eat sugar with your meal
  • While parents always say you can’t have your sweets until your dinner is finished, it’s actually beneficial to eat sugar with a balanced meal. Foods that require more chewing and are filled with nutrients increase the production of saliva. Saliva neutralizes acids in the mouth and can help wash away and cancel out harmful acid created from sugar.

  • Brush before eating sugar
  • Although it may sound counterintuitive, brushing your teeth directly after eating sugary or acidic foods causes further damage to your enamel because it’s in a weakened state. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after you eat, or we recommend brushing beforehand. Brushing your teeth before you consume a sugary food or drink, will help rid your mouth of bad bacteria and drinking water afterwards will wash away any acids created.

Plan Your Next Dental Visit

On top of these suggestions, we always encourage you to visit us every six months for a routine dental cleaning and exam. Staying on top of your oral hygiene, taking precautionary measures when consuming sugar, and visiting the dentist regularly, will help you maintain strong enamel and a healthy mouth. To schedule your next dental appointment, call us today.

Contact Us
Milltown Family Dentistry