Aerial view of a silver spoon dipping into a bowl of white granulated sugar

How Sugar Affects Your Children’s Teeth

January 22, 2022 2:56 am

Understanding how sugar affects your child’s teeth can help you become mindful of reducing their sugar intake to better care for their oral and overall health!

What Does Sugar Do to Teeth?

The mouth contains both good and bad bacteria. Bad bacteria thrive off sugar in food particles. When these bacteria ingest the sugar, they produce harmful acid that softens the enamel. Enamel is the outer protective layer of teeth. The bacteria also multiply and clump together into a sticky film called plaque. This process can result in tooth discoloration, bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Early-stage tooth decay is weakened enamel that has been damaged by acid. The enamel can sometimes be remineralized and strengthened through improved oral hygiene and a healthier diet.

A cavity is an area of permanent damage that cannot be reversed. It must be fixed with restorative treatments at the dentist. Depending on the cavity’s severity, this may involve a filling, root canal therapy, dental crown, or extraction.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Start preventive oral care practices at an early age to protect your child from dental disease, such as cavities!

  • Provide your child with nutritious, balanced meals while helping them learn to enjoy sugary foods and drinks in moderation
  • Help your child brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and to floss their teeth every day
  • Bring your child to the dentist for routine dental cleanings and checkups
  • Ask us about dental sealants for your child’s molars
  • Have your child receive a professional fluoride treatment at their dental cleaning

Pediatric Dentistry in San Antonio, TX

At Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we recommend patients visit us twice a year for a routine cleaning and exam. Our friendly team will clean and remove any accumulated plaque on their teeth and check their smile for gum disease and cavities. Bring them in sooner if you notice any abnormal changes in their gums or warning signs of tooth decay, such as a toothache, tooth sensitivity, or sudden tooth discoloration.

Contact our San Antonio dental office today to learn more about our comprehensive pediatric dental services or to schedule your child’s dental exam and cleaning!


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