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The holidays are here, and with them come a plethora of sweet treats. Now, you’ve probably heard that a lot of sugar is bad for your teeth. But do you know why?

To understand why you should limit sugar for oral health, it is important to understand what it does to your teeth. There are bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria, when not cleaned, form a sticky film called plaque. This plaque is not only unsightly, but does damage to your teeth.

You see, plaque is made of living bacteria, which feed on sugars. They convert those sugars into acids, which eat away at your tooth enamel. The plaque sticks to your teeth, which constantly exposes your teeth to the corrosive force of the acid the bacteria are producing.

This essentially means that it isn’t actually the sugar rotting your teeth; it’s the acids. Unfortunately, the practical application of this is that you still need to limit your sugar. In fact, it also means that you need to limit your acids. So, things like sticky, acidic, sugary candies (sour gummies, for example) are extremely bad for your teeth.

If you do choose to eat these foods, accompany them with a tall glass of water to rinse the food away from your teeth. Chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes to increase saliva flow to clean teeth and neutralize acids in your mouth. Then brush your teeth.

For more information, call 201 Dental Care in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, at 201.944.1969. Dr. Jessica Gorelik and our team are happy to help!