If you’re being honest you probably have a sweet tooth, especially as it gets closer to the holiday season and you think about all the treats that will be waiting for you as you gather with friends and family.

Enjoying sweets every now and then isn’t anything to worry about as long as you clean your teeth well afterward. Having a sweet tooth isn’t something to be ashamed of, but you should be aware of the effect sugar has on your dental health and take a proactive role in keeping your teeth healthy.

Effects That Sugar Has On Your Teeth

Tooth Decay And Gum Disease

Taking a peek in the mirror to see how your teeth look only gives you a brief idea of their health. Your teeth may be pearly white and mostly straight just based on their appearance, but that doesn’t mean that they’re safe from underlying issues such as tooth decay or gum disease. Tooth decay occurs when plaque forms on your teeth as a result of sugar combining with harmful bacteria and becoming acidic. Signs of tooth may include:

If you’re experiencing tooth decay, it is best to get on top of your dental hygiene immediately. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to gum disease. Gum disease occurs when bacteria from plaque on your teeth affects your gums, causing gingivitis. If gum disease is left untreated, it can spread to bones around your teeth and into your jaw.

Sugar + Saliva + Bacteria = Plaque

You have good and bad bacteria in your mouth. However, any time you consume sugar, once the sugar combines with the bad bacteria in your mouth, acid begins to form. Your saliva will try to fight off the attacking acid, but if you’ve consumed too much sugar in too short a time, your saliva won’t be able to withstand the effects of the sugar and bacteria combination. Acid that sits too long on teeth will cause plaque to form and, if left untreated, plaque will dissolve the enamel on your teeth.

Enamel is the shiny, protective layer on your teeth that tries to withstand the effects of sugar consumption and the resulting acid formation. Over time, if plaque sits too long on your teeth without a proper cleaning, it will eat away at your teeth, forming cavities.

Don’t Brush Your Teeth Immediately After Eating Sweets

Consuming sweets every once in a while is okay, but it’s important to clean your teeth after having a sugary snack to prevent plaque buildup and cavities from forming. What you might not realize though, is how long you should wait to brush your teeth after having a sugary treat. 

Brushing your teeth immediately after eating sweets will weaken the enamel on your teeth, leaving you more prone to cavities and tooth decay. Waiting around 30 minutes or so to break out your toothbrush is the best action plan to care for your teeth after having sweet treats. Acid weakens the enamel on your teeth, but by waiting at least 30 minutes, you allow the enamel time to remineralize and strengthen.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene With Regular Dental Cleanings

Dental health starts with you and the way you care for your teeth. If you have a tendency to be drawn to sugary treats and you aren’t always on top of brushing your teeth as soon as you should after enjoying them, it’s time to schedule a dentist appointment. Pickett Family Dental in Keller, Texas is one of the best-loved dental centers in the area and we would love to see you for a visit. Our expert team will get your teeth cleaned and set you up for dental success from your first visit. Call us today at 817-431-5514 or schedule online.