Sugar awareness week is coming up (w/c 20thJan) and we’d like to take the opportunity to remind you of the impact that sugar has on your dental health. It’s no joke folks! We all like to have a sugary treat but with education on the subject we can hope to be ‘treatwise’ and make some easy changes to when and how frequently we indulge.
Have you ever heard of the Stephan Curve? See the images below for reference.
When talking about decay and enamel erosion, 3 factors come into play:
If those 3 things can combine they’ll have a party in your mouth, and the damage will leave you with weak enamel and a whole lot of cavities. Have a look at this graph to give you a visual idea of what’s happening in your mouth over time. The blue line represents the pH level in your mouth, anywhere in the blue area is safe. You can see that when you wake up in the morning the pH level is neutral. As soon as you have breakfast the level dips right down to the red area – the critical level where teeth start to weaken. Then after an hour your teeth are back in the safe zone, until you have a drink and it dips back down again. So you can see that by increasing the amount of times you eat or drink during the day your mouth spends more time at a critical pH level.
Don’t want to spend your time and money fixing holes in your teeth? Read our tips below!
1. Brush twice daily with a high fluoride toothpaste.
2. Avoid brushing for 30 minutes after consuming sugary or acidic products. Your enamel will be weak and scrubbing your teeth will only be detrimental.
3. Easy to say, not easy to do – try to reduce your intake of sugary & acidic products. Try dropping just one thing, they say it only takes 21 days to make or break a habit.
4. Drink more water, for many more reasons than just your dental health.
5. If you are drinking (anything sugary/acidic) between meals try to drink quickly, rather than sipping over a long period of time. This will give you mouth a chance to bring the pH level back up into the safe zone, rather than the sugar attacking your teeth over a prolonged period.
6. If drinking a cold (sugary/acidic) drink then it’s always best to use a straw, this will minimise contact between the sugar/acid and your teeth.
7. Consuming alkaline products like dairy will quickly reinstate the safe pH balance in your mouth.