Is Honey Good for Your Teeth?

Aerial view of honey in a jar next to a honeycomb smothered in honey connected to a ridged wooden honey ladle

Most of us know that consuming sugary, sweet treats can be detrimental to a healthy smile. However, our team at Troy Bartels, DDS certainly understands that sometimes, you just have a sweet tooth you can’t ignore! Today, we want to share some tips on enjoying sweet treats in moderation and discuss whether honey is better for your teeth than table sugar.

Sweets & Your Oral Health

If you drink multiple sodas daily, indulge in dessert after every meal, and regularly reach for prepackaged and processed foods, you are slowly damaging your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth feast on sugar, which they break down into acid. Over time, acid wears away your enamel, and damaged enamel increases your risk for tooth decay, called cavities. Acid and bacteria also combines into a sticky biofilm called plaque that irritates gums, damages and discolors teeth, and causes bad breath. Without proper daily oral hygiene at-home and biannual professional dental cleanings, plaque accumulation will cause a variety of dental issues, including gum disease.

How to Enjoy Sweet Treats in Moderation

  • If you’re going to satisfy your sweet tooth, do so in moderation.
  • After you eat or drink something sugary, drink some water to help wash away any remaining sugary particles.
  • Consider chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate your production of saliva, which will also help wash away any residue.
  • Make sure your diet includes an abundance of tooth-healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
  • Follow an excellent oral hygiene routine: brush your teeth twice each day for two minutes every time, floss each day, and visit our office every six months for cleanings and exams.

Honey Is Still Sugar

While honey certainly has some beneficial antibacterial properties, it is still another form of sugar, so consuming it will increase your risk for tooth decay. So, as with all sugar, it’s best to enjoy honey in moderation. But using a little bit of honey instead of table sugar in your tea, smoothies, or oatmeal, for example, lets you take advantage of its antibacterial properties. You will likely need to use less honey than you would sugar for the same taste of sweetness. Additionally, honey mixed into herbal tea or plain warm water can help ease a sore throat. A little bit of honey can even help ease a dog’s throat if they are suffering from a bout of kennel cough. However, it’s important to note that puppies and children younger than 12 months should not be given any honey due to the risk of botulism.

Ask Us All Your Dental-Related Questions!

To ask our friendly team any other questions about oral care, a tooth-healthy diet, or the effects of sugar on your teeth, contact us today. We also invite you to schedule your next visit to our office to make sure your oral health is in tip-top condition.
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