20 January 2021

3 Ways To Mitigate the Harmful Effects of Sugar on Teeth for Those With Braces

The fact that sugar is harmful to teeth is one that dentists do not hesitate to impart to their patients. The substance is the indirect cause of tooth decay, cavities and a great many oral problems. While it does not itself corrode enamel and drive holes in molars, it does feed harmful bacteria that do perform or contribute to such actions, promote the formation and spread of plaque and increase acidity in the mouth. For those with braces from an orthodontist Queen Creek AZ, the impact of sugar on their oral health is even more pronounced because the brackets and wires, harder to properly clean in the first place, provide more spaces for sugar and food particles that are hard to remove to get stuck in. This in turn grants invading microbes more fuel. While many types of candy are banned for those on braces (licorice, gum, hard candy and more), ones like chocolate without nuts or caramel are allowed. However, it is, in general, recommended that foods with high sugar content be restricted for those with braces. There are, however, ways to lower the negative effects of sugar on teeth so that it does not have to be completely removed from your diet if you have braces. 

1. Drink Water 

Water can help wash sugar off of teeth. Drink it regularly, especially right after consuming sugary treats. Even simply rinsing out your mouth with water after having a piece of candy would be beneficial. 

2. Clean Your Teeth Regularly 

Brushing and flossing are of paramount importance. Doing so after every meal or snack instead of only the two or three obligatory times a day reduces the amount of sugar present in your mouth, which in turn lowers the amount of decay-causing bacteria. After eating sugar though, it is actually better to wait a short amount of time, usually thirty minutes to an hour, to brush.

3. Avoid Sugary Drinks or Use a Straw 

It is best to avoid or limit the number of sugary beverages like soda you drink. Liquids spread sugar throughout the whole mouth, creating a film perfect for microbes to cling to. Soda's natural acidity also weakens teeth, more so as exposure time increases. If you cannot give it up, using a straw can help keep the drink and your teeth from making contact with each other. 

Sugar is tempting, addicting and found in a wide assortment of delicious foods. While it is not good for teeth or braces, incorporating a moderate amount into an average meal plan will usually not cause severe harm if appropriate measures are taken to mitigate its effect, proper dental care is performed and dentist visits are kept.

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