Why reduce sugar consumption?
Sugar is bad for our teeth, fact. Of course, this comes as no surprise yet sugar-related dental problems are still the most widespread cause of poor oral health and disease. The message is clear and simple though, reducing the amount of sugar in our diet will help to reduce the damage it can cause to our teeth.
It is good to be guided by a specialist in these cases and to implement each of the recommendations that are enacted; so here are 10 tips to eliminate or in his case reducing the consumption of sugar.
Sugar by any other name is still sugar
When we think of sugar we probably picture the white stuff you pop in our tea. But there are many ‘hidden' sugars in lots of things we would not even think of. Sugar can go by many names and recognising them is the first step to avoiding them. There are too many to list but some to look out for are; sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, molasses, hydrolysed starch and corn syrup.
Studies recently brought attention to the dangerously high levels of sugar in some breakfast cereals, with some shockingly made up of almost a third of sugar; Switching out for a lower sugar cereal or one with no added sugar, and not adding any yourselves, will have a massive impact on your dental health and your health overall.
It is normal for mid-morning we want something to keep the energies, don't reach for the donuts or cookies, a bunch of nuts will provide that energy boost you need. Remember it's not only about how much sugar we eat when it comes to your teeth it's also about how often, so try opting for a sugar free alternative whenever possible.
Fat free is not trouble free
Many products are marketed as a ‘healthy alternative', but those claims on the packaging are only telling a part of the story. Often products such as fat free yogurts still contain high levels of sugars in the form of fructose or refined sugar. A good tip is to look out for the traffic light system when we're doing our grocery shopping.
When it comes to our teeth, fresh whole foods are best, by smashing up a banana and strawberry into a smoothie it releases the sugars which then are able to coat the whole tooth, even in the tiny gaps, eating them whole helps to avoid this problem.
When it comes to our teeth it's not only about how much sugar you eat it's how often you have it. It takes an hour for our mouth to return to a neutral state after eating or drinking and every time we have another mouthful that time starts again. Constant grazing can leave us with a toothless grin so if we do need a sugar fix, keep it to mealtimes and give our mouth a break.
People who stay up late are more likely to skip brushing before bed and with the added midnight snacking this could spell disaster for our teeth. We can't snack when were asleep so getting an early night can have a wonderful effect.
The most important meal of the day
How many of us have skipped breakfast and then yearn for that sugary fix to get us through the day? This comes down again to giving our mouths a break to recover, have a filling and nutritious breakfast is the best way to start your day of right.
Drinking like a fish
Alcoholic beverages generate a large amount of sugar intake, having a great impact on our oral health. Try to moderate the amount of alcoholic drinks you have and also have some water nearby to help wash down your tipple of choice. It helps wash some of the sugar from the mouth and our head will thank you the next day too.
Keep an eye on your coffee
Our double chocolaty chip crème frappuccino or tiramisu latte with extra whipped cream from our favourite coffee place may be delicious, and fun to say, but let's be honest we know its laden with sugar. If we do need a caffeine fix and have a sweet tooth try to keep it to meal times, or we could just stick with an Americano or espresso.