Dear Dr. Ellie,
Is sugar bad for my teeth? I have a sweet tooth and I love my candy and dessert, but I am getting older and I feel like I have to take more health more seriously. Thanks!
Emily Brower, Boston MA
Good for you for wanting to live a healthier lifestyle–but you don’t need to give up your sweets for your teeth (your doctor may want you to watch your intake for other reasons however…)
Many people still believe that sugar is the cause of cavities – but it is in fact the acids that dissolve the tooth enamel and create the cavities. Acids can be directly from foods and drinks but also from “cavity forming” bacteria that release acids as they grow.
The problem is that the sugar gives energy to these “acid producing” bacteria on your teeth, allowing them to release more acids and damage your teeth.
So, you can have your sugar, and a healthy smile. But remember to take your Zellies after means and snacks, which will neutralize acids, and stop the cavity forming bacteria from growing on your teeth.
Good luck and enjoy your dessert,