This year, the ADA (Australian Dental Association) is celebrating Dental Health Week by highlighting the effects of sugar!
Although it may be hard to face the facts, we all know that sugar is not great for your oral health or your overall health. The good news is that it’s not necessarily sugar itself that is bad for your oral health, but rather the consumption of excess sugar that contributes. However, many people do not realise how large our daily sugar intake actually is. The reason why ADA is highlighting sugar is to educate Australians on the camouflaged assaults from sugar.
How we’re eating too much sugar without knowing
Many of us have acquired daily habits that contribute high amounts of sugar to our system. Without even realising it, you might be consuming excessive amounts of sugar everyday.
Sugar can be found in more drinks and foods than you might think, even products that advertise to be healthy, such as sports drinks and sports bars, contain very high amounts of sugar.
Here are the ways in which we might be consuming too much sugar without knowing:
Snacking sugary snacks
Constant snacking on high-sugar foods enables those sugars to attack your teeth for longer which increases your risk of tooth decay. Furthermore, this habit leads to low energy levels, high blood sugar levels, weight gain, and heart disease.
Some snacks to often avoid are:
- Potato chips
Sipping on acidic or sugary drinks
One of the more common sources of undercover sugar, and the biggest culprit to causing tooth decay, are drinks! It is almost muscle memory to be constantly sipping on a drink throughout the day which also enables sugars and acids to sit on your teeth. Try to avoid sipping drinks such as:
- Soft drinks and sodas
- Energy drinks
- Fruit juices
Sticky foods and lollies are long-lasting sources of harmful bacteria and sugar. This is mainly because sticky foods are held in your mouth for longer as they are being broken down. During this time, they gradually release sugar and produce more amounts of acid.
These sticky foods include:
- Hard candies
- Breath mints
- Sugary chewing gum (always buy sugar-free)
To be healthier, you don’t have to completely cut sugar out of your diet, but try to cut out the habits that promote tooth decay. These are habits that allow sugar to rest on your teeth for longer periods of time without defence.
How daily sugar consumption is affecting your oral health
Our mouths are full of various types of bacteria; some of which are good and some that are bad for your dental health. When we consume sugar, it attracts harmful bacteria and produces acid.
These sugar-fueled acids remove minerals from the outer protective layer of your teeth called the tooth enamel. The constant consumption of sugar over time results in deteriorating and ultimately destroying the tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is attacked, the risk of tooth decay and cavities is severely increased.
When this process is left ignored or untreated, cavities end up spreading and worsening which causes painful gum disease and possible tooth loss.
Fight back the sugar
Now that you have locked down your sources of excessive sugar, you can act on protecting your teeth and prevent tooth decay before the issue worsens.
Here are some good habits to pick up that help protect your teeth against sugar:
- Cut down on sugar – Cutting down on sugar will also help you maintain good overall health as well.
- Drink water – Water helps to rinse away a sugary drink or snack residue.
- Avoid snacking or sipping drinks for prolonged periods of time – Or if you do, make sure to drink water throughout sipping and snacking and brush your teeth after.
- Brush your teeth – Brushing twice (or more) per day for at least two minutes will help clean your teeth of bad bacteria and acid.
Get on top of sugar attacks
Nobody wants to suffer tooth sensitivity, toothaches, weak chewing surfaces, or having cavities filled! So be sure to take care of your oral health, especially when it comes to sugar before it’s too late.
Book an appointment with our friendly team at Kitchener Street Dental Toowoomba today to get on top of your oral health as well as get more healthy oral care tips based on your lifestyle and habits!