When it comes to our dental health, sugar is certainly not our friend. Every time we consume sugar, the bacteria in our mouths activate and spin into a feeding frenzy. This is because sugar is the natural food source of bacteria. When bacteria detect the presence of sugar, they will feed on food/drink particles, colonize, and release acid as a by-product. Unfortunately, sugar seems to be everywhere – especially in some of the most popular drinks consumed today. Since sugar consumption increases the risk for developing tooth decay, it is imperative that people visit the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
Our mouths are the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish. Since our mouths are a hospitable environment for bacteria, consuming too much sugar could lead to an overgrowth of bacteria – including the cavity-causing kind. Controlling sugar intake controls bacteria.
Common Drinks to Avoid
Drinks that contain high amounts of sugar might surprise you. While the usual culprits like soda are important to avoid, there are some beverages that might seem like healthy choices but in reality contain far too much sugar:
- Juice drinks/fruit punch
- Energy beverages
- Sports Drinks
- Sweetened Coffee and Tea
- Beer and Wine
- Smoothies and Milkshakes
Fortunately, cutting down on sugar is easy when you have alternatives. Oral health-friendly drinks include water, plain sparkling water, milk, almond/soy milk, and unsweetened tea or coffee. The best thing a person can drink, however, is water. Not only is water necessary to maintain healthy hydration, it does wonders for oral health. First, water helps keep the mouth moist. Soft oral tissues need to stay moist. Water also helps dilute harmful compounds like acid and sugar. This is why it’s a good idea to have a glass of plain water with every meal. Water can serve a similar function that saliva does by rinsing away food.
Our practice recommends drinking water throughout the day for maximum oral health benefits. A minimum of 64-ounces is encouraged by the American Dental Association. Our office is currently accepting new patients. If it is time for a checkup or cleaning, give us a call so that we can book your appointment.