Sugar is the No.1 enemy when it comes to attacking teeth and sometimes it isn’t until your dentist in Southampton tells you that you have a decaying tooth which needs filling, that you know anything about it. The thing is, many of the foods we eat are full of hidden sugars and all of us need to take more responsibility for what we’re putting into our mouths if we want to keep our teeth for longer.
As sugar consumption increases so do cavities
Bacteria feeds off sugar that clings to the teeth, and in doing so this produces an acid which attacks tooth enamel and begins to wear it away. Recent studies carried out by the World Health Organisation in 2014 confirm the fact that as sugar consumption increases so too does the amount of cavities. These same studies also show that increased levels of sugar can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. As a result the World Health Organisation recommends that sugar consumption be cut by as much as 50% meaning that the calorific intake should be 5% or less of an individual’s daily diet. According to the most recent figures available in the UK the average daily percentage of sugar (not natural sugars already in food) equates to 14.7% for children, 15.6% for adolescents, and 12.1% for adults.
So how can you cut back on sugar?
As well as eating less sweets, it’s important to be aware of hidden sugars in your every day diet. Even so called ‘nutritional food’ can be crammed with sugar. One way is to check food labels before buying a product. Just to confuse matters, sugar is called various names including:
- Corn syrup, Malt and Dextrose
- Sorghum Syrup
- Molasses and Maltose
In addition beware of any ingredients ending in “sugar”, “-ose” and “syrup” as these are all alternative names for sugar.
Other top tips for cutting back on sugar
- Cook more food at home from scratch so you know exactly what’s contained in your food
- Reduce your intake of cereal bars, fruit juices, soft drinks, yoghurt and sugary breakfast cereals
- Eat more healthy food since a healthy diet means a healthy mouth
You don’t have to stop eating sugar completely in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and healthy teeth and this is why it’s so important to incorporate a regular brushing and flossing routine into your day as well as attending regular six monthly check ups with your Southampton dentist. Here at Smilemakers, Dr Thomas Darling is keen to help you have a healthier and happier lifestyle. So, if you’ve any questions or concerns about your oral health then please get in touch with us by calling 02380 442626 and booking a reduced price new patient examination. For more information on the treatments we provide then visit our website at www.smilemakers.co.uk.