Any health professional will tell you that excessive consumption of sugar is harmful to your health, including your dental health. So, what exactly is so bad about sugar? And how much is too much?
One And Done
The longer-lasting your sugar in-take, the greater the damage is that your teeth are exposed to. In other words, as opposed to consuming your sugar intake within a single meal, eating or drinking sugar over a long period of time increases exposure and risk of tooth damage.
It takes about 20 minutes for the sugar to convert to acid and neutralize on your teeth. Therefore, if you eat a meal with sugary food or drinks at 1:30pm, for example. And then, you sip on a sugary espresso drink throughout the 2:00pm hour, your teeth are continually undergoing this sort of sugar-attack from 1:30 to 3:00pm.
Alternatively, it would be a healthier choice to consume sugar within one meal, rather than spread out this intake over a longer period of time. For this reason, swapping soda or sports drink for water will go a long way to support your dental health.
The Sticky And The Crunchy
Furthermore, beware of sticky foods (even seemingly harmless snacks like dried fruit). The stickier the food, the more likely it is to cling to your teeth. Similarly, crunchy foods (like potato chips) have a greater chance of getting lodged between the crevices of your teeth. Be mindful of what kinds of food you put in your mouth.
As a rule, it's suggested that any time you eat or drink sugary foods, follow this with at least a rinse of your mouth, if not fully brushing your teeth.