Sweet Tooth Obsession & It’s Impact On Oral Health
We have all heard that Australians are increasingly consuming much sugar.
I am seeing an increasing number of families who report significant consumption of sugary drinks than they did 10 years ago, and kids are taking it up too.
Covid-19 has only exasperated the issue further, as people are under lockdown, and some people’s sweet tooth obsession has gone through the roof.
The most common sources of added sugar are:
- Sodas, sports, and energy drinks
- Processed sugar, like table sugar and candy
- Sweet baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and pies
- Fruit drinks, like fruit ades and fruit punch
- Dairy items, like ice cream and sweetened yogurt
- Sweetened, ready-to-eat cereals
Different Names, But Same Stuff
These names may sound harmless or healthier than the white processed sugar in our grandmother’s sugar bowl, but they’re still sugars and can expose us to disease if consumed in excess.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Coconut Palm Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Evaporated Cane Juice
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Agave Syrup
- Juice Concentrates
What does all this added sugar do to us?
Weight gain that leads to obesity.
Excess sugar sets the stage for disease by elevating cholesterol imbalance and deregulating our body’s insulin monitor, meaning it takes more insulin to balance blood glucose.
Also, it increases visceral and intrahepatic fat deposition and increased triglycerides, hypertension, and blood pressure levels.
Vitamin and mineral intake is compromised, and it increases the risk and pancreatic cancer cells.
Dental Caries- Sugar present in mouth help breed bad bacteria in our oral cavity, resulting in tooth decay and also gum diseases. Especially children are more prone to dental caries. Tooth loss in the early part of life is a huge impact on overall health of a person. Because sugar-laden food is cheap, often, people in lower socio-economic situation tend to consume a lot of sugar-based food and won’t have the finances to treat dental diseases, eventually leading to tooth loss.
What can we do?
Be sugar wise.
- Be a label detective and decide wisely!
- Eliminate sugary drinks! Water is the best thirst quencher. If you want to purchase fruit juice, look for “100% Fruit Juice” on the label. Note: Developing a habit to use fruit juice to quench thirst is not good either.
- Substitute sugar alcohols for sugar in foods and beverages (start slowly)
- Reduce consumption of chocolates and ice creams, and move them to “real treats” that comes once a while (Monthly?)
- Reduce cravings with alternatives such as almonds, walnuts, cheese and substitute fresh fruit for desserts.
- Prepare foods with fresh herbs to promote satisfaction with meals.
- Don’t store processed or sugary items at home- Decision bias (If you can see them near you are more likely to use them- Keep away from spots that can be reached by everyone easily-
- Enjoy the delectable in moderation, on occasion (3 bite rule)
- Move more to burn more!
Sugar is a big part of comfort foods, and we are shown comfort food ads, all the time, and is tough to resist. However, small changes, done in a steady manner will help our Oral health in a big way and our overall well-being.
Optimum Dental Care in Cheltenham
At Dentist On Warrigal, we always try hard to instil the issue of Sugar and Oral health. Our Oral hygienist has been doing this and has seen significant improvement in the oral health of many families over a decade.
Dentist On Warrigal Cheltenham aims to promote optimum oral health to patients from Cheltenham and the surrounding areas.
Visit your dentist in Cheltenham to know more about your sweet tooth obsession and what we can do to make smart moves to keep your oral health in optimum condition.
We are located at Suite C, 151 Centre Dandenong Road in Cheltenham.