Contrary to what mom said, sugar won’t directly rot your teeth—but the acid produced when you eat sugar and carbohydrates can.
“Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth devour sugar, creating acids that attack tooth enamel, which can lead to decay and a host of other problems, including gingivitis and cavities,” says Halpern.
The worst thing you can do is leave sugar lingering on your teeth and gums. Eating any amount of candy and brushing and flossing immediately is actually less damaging than not brushing after eating one piece before bedtime, says Halpern.
If you can’t brush after a snack attack, eat cheese or yogurt, or chew sugarless gum to boost saliva flow and neutralize acids.
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