World Oral Health Day 2020 takes place on March 20th and it’s an ideal time to think about your own oral health, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
Most of us know a high sugar intake is not good news for the health of our teeth, but you might not know why.
Put simply, the bacteria in dental plaque turn sugar into acid, which in turn attacks the enamel of your teeth and can lead to cavities.
Over time, this continual attack on your teeth can lead to tooth decay and leave your teeth so badly damaged that they either fall out or need to be removed.
Modern dental implants can restore your smile to its original appearance and whiteness, but it’s always worth being aware of how much sugar you consume in your daily diet, and how to prevent its negative impacts on your teeth.
1. Sugary drinks
For many people, sugary drinks are the most frequent form of sugar consumption, so consider choosing a sugar-free or ‘zero’ version of your favourite drink if there is one.
In recent years many fizzy drinks manufacturers have reduced the amount of sugar they use, in order to come under the threshold of the sugar tax, but it’s still worth checking the label.
2. Sugary foods
If you eat a lot of processed foods – even including canned foods like baked beans – you could be consuming more sugar than you realise.
Again, check the label to see how many grams of sugar are in the foods you eat. You can often find sugar-free versions of popular foods, even including own-brand labels.
3. Whole fruit
Whole fruit can be quite high in sugar, and while this is generally considered less harmful than the refined sugar you get in snacks and sweets, it’s still worth rinsing your mouth with a non-sugary drink after eating sweet or acidic fruits.
Generally speaking, fruit is a good source of vitamins and often a source of fibre too – it’s just sensible to follow it with a sugar-free drink to remove any residue from your teeth.
4. No added sugar
As well as the sugar that’s already in food and drink, many people add spoonfuls of sugar to tea, coffee, sprinkled over cereal and so on.
Try to reduce the amount you use in these places. Your taste buds will take some time to adjust, but within a week or two you should find you hardly notice the difference anymore.
5. Teeth cleaning
Keeping your teeth clean reduces the ability of dietary sugars to attack your tooth enamel, so be diligent about this.
If you’re unable to clean your teeth for some time, try to avoid snacks and rinse your mouth with water or another sugar-free drink instead.
Sugar-free chewing gum can also help by increasing the production of saliva in your mouth and gently removing residue from your teeth as a stop-gap solution until you can clean them with a toothbrush.
At Smiles and More, we offer expert dental advice and services including, full dentures, partial dentures, denture repairs, denture cleaning and more. Contact your nearest clinic in Warrington, Widnes or Chester. For a quick response, fill in our ‘Ask Gary’ form on our website’s homepage. Happy World Oral Health Day!