Contains Listerine sugar

The teeth don't like it at all

Chocolate, ice cream, gummy bears - it is not always easy to resist the sweet temptation. Unfortunately, not only the figure, but also the teeth are affected by the sweets. Cleaning helps, of course. But did you know that it is best to leave at least an hour between eating and brushing your teeth? FOCUS-GESUNDHEIT answers the six most important questions about teeth-friendly food.

Why is sugar actually bad for the teeth?

Every child knows that sugar is harmful to teeth. The real culprit, however, is not the sugar itself. It is the oral bacteria that it serves as nourishment. They convert sugar into acids that attack tooth enamel. The sticky consistency of the sugar also makes it easier for the bacteria to adhere to the tooth surface.

Is that why I should never eat sweets again?

Even the strictest dentist cannot get away with this requirement. Instead of eating gummy bears, chocolate, etc. throughout the day, it is better to consume the entire daily ration at once. For example, right after lunch. Less sugar is just a matter of getting used to.

Is “sugar-free” always safe?

Candy or chewing gum can damage your teeth even though they are labeled "sugar-free". The Bavarian Chamber of Dentists informs that such products sometimes contain hidden sugars such as glucose (grape sugar), glucose syrup, fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar) and maltose (malt sugar). These promote the formation of caries just like conventional sugar. A careful look at the ingredients protects against the sweet trap.

Fruit never hurts. Or is it?

Many people eat fruit over and over again throughout the day without thinking that fruit acids and fructose attack tooth enamel. Juices, soft drinks, sports drinks or salad dressings also give the melt a sour taste. "Fruit is important", sums up nutritionist and prophylaxis expert Annette Schmidt. "But a healthy diet also includes breaks - for the mouth and body."

Three main meals, preferably prepared with fluoridated table salt, plus two snacks in between meals are a healthy daily rhythm for teeth and digestive organs. Children should also get their daily fruit and juice portions, but within regular times.

"Always take a sip of water through your teeth after a meal or drink, it washes away food residues and dilutes the bacterial and chemical acids," recommends Schmidt. After enjoying fruit, adults can briefly suckle on the cherry or apple core. Like chewing gum, this activates the flow of saliva.

Don't forget to brush your teeth after eating?

The worst enemy of teeth, besides tooth decay, is erosion. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating acidic food or drinks, a toothbrush and tiny abrasive particles in the paste scratch the chalky enamel. Tooth substance is lost. At first
only the dentist recognizes the tiny dents in the tooth enamel. Over the years, the damage increases and can be felt with the tongue.

If there is something sour on the menu, you have to wait until the saliva has remineralised the tooth enamel. Saliva contains all the minerals that make up a tooth and washes it with calcium, phosphate and fluoride. About 1.5 liters of the natural mouthwash are produced daily. Several hours pass before it is completely remineralized. But after one to two hours the enamel is sufficiently stabilized again. Then cleaning can and should be done. Otherwise the teeth would be exposed to far more aggressive acids: the excretions of microbes.

Tip: If you like to enjoy fruit or fruit juice for breakfast, it is better to brush your teeth beforehand. Once all the toppings have been removed, the sugar will not do any damage after the meal. If you only have cheese or ham bread on your plate, there is no compulsory break.

Bedtime treats strictly prohibited?

And what if your stomach growls unbearably in the evening after brushing your teeth? “Eat a piece of hard cheese,” advises the expert Annette Schmidt. “Old Gouda or Parmesan do not attack the enamel and wash it around with calcium.” Ham, fresh cucumber, raw carrots, celery sticks, peppers or nuts are also harmless to the teeth. "Chewing-intensive foods that contain neither acids nor sugar are good for oral health," explains the prophylaxis advisor. She advises against milk, cream cheese or sausage before going to bed: "They contain lactose, and sausage even contains sugar." Of course, it is best to go to bed with your mouth freshly cleaned.