During the summer months, you might be tempted to snack on popsicles, ice cream, and candy. While these sweet treats may taste delicious, you need to be careful. While natural fruit popsicles are fine, lots of added sugar can be bad for your teeth. Tooth decay and cavities can happen while you have braces, but they can be much more difficult to take care of. Don’t get yourself into dental trouble, just avoid eating too much sugar! Here’s what sugar can do to your teeth.
Your mouth contains naturally occurring bacteria, called streptococcus. That bacteria loves to feed on sugar, and once it does, it breaks it down into acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
The visible parts of teeth are usually pretty safe from these acids, because they’re washed away when you drink water or brush your teeth. You can run into problems, though, when sweets get lodged in the crevices of your teeth or between your braces, where bacteria have more time to feed on them.
For this reason, soft candies like caramel can be considered particularly bad because they stick to your teeth and hang on for a long time. Avoid these, please!
If you must have a piece of candy, try a sugar-free version, usually sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute that the streptococcus bacteria in your mouth can’t break down.