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Trick or treat time is here, and with it comes a plethora of sweet treats. You’ve probably heard that sugar is bad for your teeth, so you shouldn’t eat a lot of it. But do you know why?

You should limit sugar for oral health. In order to understand why, it is important to understand what sugar does to your teeth.

First, know that there are bacteria that live in your mouth. If you don’t clean your teeth regularly, the bacteria form a sticky film called plaque. This plaque is unsightly, and also does damage to your teeth. Plaque is made of living bacteria that feed on sugars. They convert sugar into acids, which erode your tooth enamel.

Essentially, this means that it isn’t actually the sugar ruining your teeth; it’s the acids that the sugar-eating bacteria are producing. Unfortunately, the practical application of this is that you still need to limit your sugar intake. In fact, it also means that you need to limit your intake of acidic foods, as well. Things like sticky, acidic, sugary candies (sour gummies, for example) are extremely bad for your teeth.

If you do choose to eat these foods, accompany them with a large glass of water to rinse the food away from your teeth. After eating, chew sugarless gum for 20 minutes to increase saliva flow. Saliva cleans teeth and neutralizes acids in your mouth. Afterwards, brush your teeth for 2 minutes.

For more information, call Christopher M. Granillo, DDS, LLC in Tucson, Arizona, at 520-298-5556. Dr. Christopher M. Granillo, DDS, LLC and our team are happy to help!