If you or your family consume too much sugar in your diets, you could be putting your oral health at risk not to mention your overall health. If you do have a sweet tooth here are some sugar swaps that could save your teeth and look after your health.
The Dangers of Sugar
To lower your health risks and look after your teeth, look for ways you can cut down on sugar in your diet and make sure you follow a good oral hygiene routibe daily.
Sugar feeds bacteria living in plaque on the teeth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease among other health problems. The more sugar you consume in food and drink and the more frequently during the day the more your teeth are at risk of developing cavities.
How much sugar is too much?
It’s recommended that adults and children don’t get more than 10% of their daily energy intake from sugar. For the average person, this means no more than 30g of sugar a day from all sources.
Most Australians consume more sugar than is recommended for a balanced diet. Most of this comes from sugary drinks and sweet snacks or desserts rather than meals. Eliminating these from your diet and choosing healthier options can help to bring down your sugar intake and protect your teeth.
Sugar Swaps To Save Your Teeth
Here are some suggestions for how to swap sugar out form your diet without feeling like you are missing out.
Breakfast sugar swaps
Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals or porridge over cereals coated in sugar or honey.
Try a topping of fresh fruit or natural honey on your cereal instead of sugar.
If you prefer toast, swap sugary jam for honey.
Check the nutrition and ingredient labels of food packaging in the store and choose products that are low in sugar or have less added sugar.
Ingredients are listed according to how much is in the product. If you see sugars near the top of the list, this means the food is high in sugar.
Be aware that added sugars may be listed in a number of different ways, including corn syrup, fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose.
Snack sugar swaps
Choose fresh fruit over cakes, muffins, sweets and other sugary snacks. Whole fruit contains natural sugars that are less likely to cause tooth decay.
If you buy tinned fruit, look for fruit stored in water rather than in syrup.
Choose plain natural yoghurt or low-sugar yoghurt and puddings.
Drink sugar swaps
Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices and cordials are major sources of sugar in the Australian diet. A typical 375ml can of soft drink contains about 9 teaspoons of sugar (40 grams).
Instead of sugar drinks, choose plain water.
How to take care of your teeth
As well as following a healthy diet, it’s important to look after your teeth by keeping plaque and decay at bay. You can do this by:
Brushing your teeth twice a day, using a manual or electric toothbrush and natural toothpaste
Brushing for 2 minutes each time, spending 30 seconds in each quarter of your mouth
Replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3 months
Flossing between your teeth using dental floss or an interdental brush
Drinking plenty of water to rinse your mouth and stay hydrated
If you’re due for a check-up and clean, or you want to talk to a dentist for advice, get in touch with our team at Evolve Dental Healing. 07 3720 1811
Dr. Rachel Hall
Rachel is the founder and principal dentist at Evolve Dental Healing with over 25 years experience, practicing holistically since 2001. Not your typical dentist, Rachel is a passionate opinion leader, challenging convention to empower people to make better dental and health choices, helping thousands to have healthy natural smiles. A respected writer and presenter on holistic dentistry, health and wellness it is Rachel’s mission to revolutionise the way people look at their dental health.