By John Leitner DDS
February 24, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Patients, young and old, enjoy a little myth busting now and then. And today is that day. Dr. John Leitner, Grand Haven dentist, discloses on a dental myth that you and your family can smile about!
Myth: Eating too much sugar causes cavities
From kids to adults, the age-old warning is that too much sugar will rot your teeth. In a way, this is true, but it’s not about the amount of sugar you eat—it’s how long the sugar remains on your teeth. Bacteria love to feed on sugar and produce acid, which breaks down the tooth’s enamel. Look at these two scenarios:
You have a box of chocolate and eat the entire box in five minutes. Afterwards, you take a glass of water and rinse out the excess sugar. After waiting 30 minutes, you brush your teeth with a soft-bristle brush and toothpaste.
You sip a sugar-free soda over the span of an hour. You rinse your mouth out with water and brush your teeth right away.
Which scenario is the worst for your teeth?
You may be thinking—the first one because it has sugar and you had to wait longer to brush your teeth. Actually, scenario 2 would harm your teeth more—for two reasons. First, the sugary chocolate only rested on your teeth for five minutes. In scenario 2, the drink may be sugar-free, but the soda is also carbonated, which means its high in acid. And acid is the main culprit for enamel erosion. You were sipping the soda for over an hour, constantly bathing your teeth in the carbonation.
Second, scenario 1 is better because you wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. In scenario 2, you brush them right away, and that could damage your enamel because you end up pushing the acid deeper into the tooth. If you wait at least 30 minutes, your saliva works to wash away acids and remineralize the enamel.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you have a dental concern or want to schedule an appointment with your Grand Haven dentist, call (616) 842-2850. Do you have any more dental myths you want to learn about? Let us know, and your Grand Haven family dentist can provide the answers!