Why is sugar bad for your teeth?
We’ve all been taught that sugar is bad for our teeth, but very few people know why sugar is bad for your teeth. We will explain in simple terms why sugar causes cavities and tooth decay.
Your mouth is full bacteria, some good and some bad. Two of the bad guys are Streptococcus Mutans and Streptococcus Sobrinus. These strains of bacteria feed on sugar. When these bacteria digest the sugar left on your teeth after drinking a Coke or eating a cookie they produce an acid that slowly eats away at your tooth enamel.
Enamel is the shiny outer layer of your teeth that protects them. This acid, over time, slowly demineralizes the enamel on your teeth, stripping it of its protective minerals.
The good news is that your mouth isn’t defenseless against this acid. Your saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphate that work to reverse this demineralization process, by slowly remineralizing your tooth enamel. The problem is that the sugar content of our diets is increasing and our teeth are under almost constant attack. Simply put, our saliva simply can’t keep up. This is why dentists recommend brushing your teeth at least twice per day and preferably after eating a sugary snack or drinking a soft drink. By brushing your teeth, you remove some of the sugar residues which in turn leaves less food for the bad bacteria to turn into damaging acid.