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3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408

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November 30, 2020


We’ve heard it a thousand times, and even as young children we were taught sugar is bad for our teeth. We’re taught to avoid sugar and brush often. Yes, eating too much sugar can cause tooth decay, but few patients understand why. Often it is not the sugar itself that causes cavities, but the chain of events that happens afterward that does the most damage.

Your mouth is home to lots of bacterial elements, many that are actually good for your overall oral health. However, there are harmful bacteria that use the sugar you ingest to destroy your tooth enamel, the shiny outer layer that protects your teeth. Sugars create acids that erode this protective barrier causing a bacterial infection we know as cavities. Without treatment, a cavity can expand into deeper layers of the tooth. Many patients have pain with cavities that progress to the nerve and some even experience tooth loss. 

Damage to your teeth from sugar can be managed. Your saliva produces minerals that naturally help repair your teeth. Fluoride is another important mineral that helps repair damaged tooth enamel. But know that these elements can only do so much to prevent sugars from causing cavities if your daily diet has too many sweets and starches.

So what can you be doing to limit the damage sugar does to your teeth?

  • Limit your daily sugar intake.
  • Increase your natural saliva production by chewing sugarless gum and eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat calcium rich foods like cheese, yogurt, and other dairy to help strengthen your teeth.
  • Be consistent and vigilant in keeping your teeth clean. Brush your teeth at least two times a day, floss once per day, and get a professional dental cleaning twice a year.
  • Increase your fluoride intake by drinking fluoridated water, using a fluoride toothpaste, and getting fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office.

As you head into the Holiday season, you may be tempted to partake in some delicious sugary treats. But by practicing the above recommendations, you can find a healthy balance in enjoying holiday sweets and protecting your teeth.

If you are concerned about the potential damage sugar is doing to your teeth or you are looking for a dental office for regular cleanings and fluoride treatments, we invite you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers.


Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
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