The Top Sugar-Free Food That Can Rot Your Teeth

dental health risks of sugar-free soda popWe all know that drinking too much sweet sugary soda pop can cause tooth decay. Sodas should only be an occasional treat (like a cupcake or a candy bar), not your main source of hydration or caffeine. To get around this issue and still enjoy a sweet drink, many people turn to sugar-free varieties. The only problem is that sugar-free sodas can cause tooth decay too!

Sodas sweetened with real sugar or high fructose corn syrup are bad for your teeth because they feed bacteria. This bacteria processes the sugar and creates acids, which sit on your teeth in the form of plaque and cause dental erosion.

Sugar-free sodas don’t feed decay-causing bacteria. They skip that step altogether. Many sugar-free sodas are acidic on their own, meaning the soda itself can cause dental erosion. Tooth decay occurs when dental erosion eats away at the hard protective outer layer of teeth, leaving the softer dentin underneath exposed. This is how cavities eventually form.

While diet sodas can be a great choice when it comes to reducing the amount of sugar or calories you consume, it’s good to keep in mind that there’s no “easy way out” when it comes to good dietary choices. In other words, soda pop of any kind should only be consumed in moderation (including “energy drink” varieties). Nearly any dentist you ask will agree that a balanced diet that includes a minimal amount of sugar, processed foods, and acidic foods is the best way to maintain your oral health. Think of your balanced diet as the best possible kind of dental insurance (and the cheapest)!

We know that a soda habit can be hard to kick. Often it’s the sensation of cold, crisp bubbles that makes soda hardest to give up. Believe it or not, many people find they get the same satisfaction and refreshing sensation from plain carbonated water. Just keep in mind that fizzy water contains carbon dioxide, which turns into carbonic acid in your mouth, so it’s more acidic that still water and therefore more risky for your tooth enamel. When you’re seeking refreshment, regular water is always your best choice!

If you have any questions or concerns about how your favorite drinks affect your teeth, please feel free to start a conversation with the dentist or the dental hygienist. We’d be happy to share our advice!

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A Fun Timeline of Early Dental History

barbers used to act as dentistsFrom magic spells to seeing the barber for a toothache, caring for teeth has a long and storied history. Here are some of the most significant moments in the history of early dentistry, right up until when the word “dentist” was first coined.

5000 BC – Tooth Worms

Ancient Sumerian people believe cavities and tooth decay are caused by “tooth worms”. This belief persisted for centuries and in many different cultures. Treatments included trying to lure out the worm with honey and magic spells and potions.

2600 BC – The First Known Dental Practitioner

The inscription on the tomb of an Egyptian scribe named Hesy-Re is the first known reference to someone as a dental practitioner. He is honored as “the greatest of those who deal with teeth, and of physicians.”

500-300 BC – Ancient Philosophers & Dentistry

Both Aristotle and Hippocrates wrote about dentistry. They mention identifying the pattern in which adult teeth come in, stabilizing the teeth and jaw with wire, and methods for tooth extraction.

700 AD – Dental Fillings in China

An ancient Chinese medical text includes an early mention of silver fillings. The text refers to a silver paste, which would have been quite similar to the amalgam used in modern dentistry.

1400 AD – The Barber Will See You Now

If you had a toothache in the middle ages, you’d go to your barber. During this era, barbers dealt with far more than just hair and were practically medical professionals. Extracting teeth was a normal and accepted part of their job description.

1530 – The First Book About Dentistry

In Germany, a book titled Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth by Artzney Buchlein is the first known book exclusively about dental medicine. Topics addressed include placing gold fillings, tooth extraction and oral hygiene.

1723 – The Father of Modern Dentistry

French surgeon Pierre Fauchard publishes The Surgeon Dentist, A Treatise on Teeth, the first comprehensive guide to dental care ever written. He is considered the Father of Modern Dentistry because many of the book’s ideas regarding oral anatomy, restoring teeth and creating dentures are the basis of the practice of dentistry moving forward.

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