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The real effects of sugary snacks. These days, just about everyone knows that eating too much sugar is bad for the entire body, not just for the teeth. Overconsumption of sweets–especially sugared beverages such as soda–can contribute to a host of health problems, among them type 2 diabetes and obesity. But have you ever stopped to think about what really goes on when the teeth are regularly exposed to sugary snacks? Here, we’ll give you an in-depth look at the startling effects that may occur from eating and drinking too much of the sweet stuff. Chances are, once you’ve read this list, you’ll never take your orthodontist for granted again.
How Sugary Snacks Affects the Teeth
You’ve been told how important it is to brush and floss, and fortunately, the addition of braces can make that easier for a lot of people. But even if you maintain proper care of your teeth, the occasional soda or candy bar can still cause adverse effects.
Here’s why: When one of these sweet treats enters your mouth, the naturally occurring bacteria begins to consume the sugar, which then causes the bacteria to produce acid. It’s this acid that is so corrosive to the teeth, weakening and stripping away the enamel. The weaker the tooth enamel is, the likelier you are to develop cavities and other problems down the road.
Staying Ahead of the Issue
It goes without saying that the best way to avoid this type of damage is to eschew sugary snacks and beverages and sweets altogether, but even the most seasoned expert would agree that this is an unrealistic goal for most people. However, there are certain steps that can be affected. To get you started, here are a few tips that should be easy enough to follow:
- Stop buying soda for the household. Encourage family members to drink water or milk instead.
- When purchasing fruit juice, check the label to be sure that the contents are at least 10 percent real juice.
- Keep toothbrushes and toothpaste handy, so that if the kids do end up indulging, you can minimize the damage by having them brush immediately afterward.
- Use a mouthwash that contains fluoride. This will help teeth to build the enamel back up.
- If you (or your children) are finding it impossible to forego soda altogether, be sure to drink it quickly so that the sugars will have less time to produce the damaging acids.
- Stick to one “indulgent” beverage per day.
- Use a straw when consuming sweet drinks. This will allow more of the harmful sugars to bypass your teeth.
While your family’s oral health may have already been negatively affected by the overconsumption of sugary snacks, it’s never too late to make a difference. Finding the right orthodontist is an important first step toward regaining a smile that you can be proud of.
Orthodontics work by encouraging the teeth to realign properly through the use of corrective aids, such as plates and braces. As mentioned above, when the teeth grow too closely together, proper cleaning becomes much more difficult. This leads to an undue buildup of plaque, which can contribute to a host of other problems, including gum disease. Seeking the use of orthodontics isn’t just a matter of vanity; it’s a basic health necessity and ignoring it is no good.
If your kids are apprehensive about receiving orthodontic treatment, be sensitive to their feelings while providing the reassurance they crave. Remind them that they’re not the only ones who’ve ever needed this sort of care and that even if none of their friends are wearing braces now, there’s a good chance that one or more of them will also end up in the orthodontist’s chair before long. Depending on the age of the child, it might also help to point out that they won’t be wearing the hardware forever, and that the negative effects of having misaligned teeth will last far longer.
Do’s and Don’ts While Wearing Orthodontic Devices
Everyone who’s had a braces-wearing friend knows that gum chewing is a no-no while the hardware is in place. That’s far from the whole story, however. If you’re considering seeking the aid of an orthodontic expert (whether for yourself or your child), here are some other important things you should know beforehand:
- Do brush twice a day while wearing the devices. Plaque buildup doesn’t stop being a concern once treatment is effected.
- Don’t chew gum. Yes, your friends’ parents had it right: Not only is gum likely to stick to the equipment, you don’t want to risk damaging any of the joints or elastics with all that chewing.
- Do remember to take bands out before eating. They’re a mess to clean up otherwise.
- Don’t play contact sports. The last thing you want is to get hit in the face while wearing your device.
- Do take care if you play a wind instrument, such as the flute or saxophone. Playing these instruments can take some getting used to when there’s so much going on inside your mouth. Take it slowly for a while, so you can gradually build up a tolerance.
- Do report issues to your orthodontist as soon as possible.
- Don’t use your teeth for anything except eating. This one might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how many people use their teeth as multi-purpose tools without realizing it.
- Don’t drink soda. Yes, this one bears repeating–the acid that results from consumption of sugary carbonated beverages can actually damage the equipment.
Contact Us Today…
Now that you’ve learned more about the negative effects of sugary snacks and the positive effects that orthodontics can have on your life, why delay? Give Dr. King a call, so we can help you schedule a consultation for you or your child. We’ll look forward to seeing you soon.
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6460 Far Hills Ave
Centerville, OH 45459
Phone: (937) 433-0830
The Real Effects of Sugary Snacks (on Teeth)