Are Sugars & Carbs Hurting Your Smile? Our Elmhurst Dentists Can Help You Figure It Out

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Aug 4, 2020

If you are looking to give your oral health a boost, it may be time to assess your diet. Just as some foods and drinks support whole body health, there are particular substances that affect oral health as well.

Today our Elmhurst dentists are going to be talking about one type of food in particular: refined carbohydrates. Keep reading to learn more about how refined carbs can change your smile. Let’s get started!

First, let’s review what we mean by refined carbohydrates; basically, these are carbs that have had the fiber, nutrients, and brans taken out of them. White bread is a refined carbohydrate, for example, while whole wheat bread is less processed. Breads, pastries, and doughs that are made with white flour are all refined carbs.

The reason that we need to be aware of how many sugary and carbohydrate-laden treats we are eating is because the oral bacteria that live in our mouths are able to use these foods and drinks as fuel. In order to minimize the bacterial activity, you can:

  • Limit your carb and sugar consumption
  • When possible, swap out refined carbohydrates for complex carbs
  • Indulge in treats sparingly
  • Try to eat and drink at specific times of the day, rather than snacking and sipping continuously
  • Rinse your mouth with water after you eat or drink
  • If food gets stuck between your teeth, promptly clear it away using gentle floss
  • Do not brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking. It is better to rinse and wait 20 to 30 minutes to brush, because your dental enamel is temporarily softer after acid exposure

If you need any additional guidance about how you can tweak your diet to best support your smile, please feel free to reach out to our Elmhurst dentists. We truly believe that dental care extends far beyond brushing and flossing; we are here to help!