by Sheila Macintyre, Practice Owner, Kilbarchan Dental Practice
Sugar is not all Sweet
Last month we highlighted the surprising levels of sugar in a selection of popular drinks but there is lots more you really need to know about every dentist’s “enemy number one”!
Most adults and children in the UK consume too much sugar and tooth decay is now the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children. The kind of sugar we eat too much of is known as “free sugars”. Free sugars are any sugars added to food or drinks. They are also naturally occurring in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.
Everyone knows that sugar causes tooth decay and other oral health problems. Bacteria loves to feed on sugar and the consequences can be far more wide reaching than you might think. Sugary drinks can contain up to 50g of sugar which is 3 or 4 times the amount a child should consume in a day with type 2 diabetes, obesity and mental disorders all linked to high sugar intake.
We only really recommend drinking water as many fruit juices can be just as harmful as fizzy pop with high acid content and/or added sugars. Try cutting down on some of those sugary drinks and sweets and remember even dried fruit has a high sugar content and coats the teeth. Milk is a much safer alternative to drinking yoghurt, milkshakes and smoothies - some of which have really high sugar levels. Home-popped popcorn and fibrous foods such as celery act as natural toothbrushes and fresh veg and fruit is much better for you than processed food and drink that tend to have lots of additional ingredients (and much lower nutritional values). Always check the ingredients and nutritional information on packaging and, when you do consume food or drink with sugar, restrict it to meal times. Most importantly remember to always remember to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
If you would like any more advice on how to care for your teeth visit us at Kilbarchan Dental Practice, call 01505 704969 or click www.kilbarchandental.co.uk