Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015, 5:40 pm

People love sugar. Americans love sugar so much that they consume an average of one hundred fifty-six pounds of added sugars each year! All this extra sugar affects our health, our weight and our teeth. 

The U.S. Food and drug administration is currently considering changing the nutrition facts panel on packaged food to include more information about added sugar and the World Health Organization recently announced that everyone needs to reduce their intake of sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day (less than the amount in a single can of cola).

Reducing the amount of added sugars in our diet will decrease the amount of tooth decay seen in dental offices. The rates of tooth decay among children are alarming – 42% of children under 11 have cavities in their baby teeth and 21% of children 6 to 11 have cavities in their permanent teeth! Most of this tooth decay can be prevented through good nutrition and good oral hygiene habits.

  • Make sure everyone in the family, kids and adults, brush at least twice per day and floss every day.
  • Avoid drinking soda, sports drinks and energy drinks. The combination of sugars and acids in these drinks damage tooth enamel and feed bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • Don’t put a baby to bed with a bottle or sippy cup containing anything but water.
  • Make sugary snacks a “treat”, meaning they are consumed rarely – not every day.

Avoiding added sugars in our lives is not easy. There are colas and candy bars next to the check out lines, office gatherings always seem to include donuts or cake and sports drinks are handed out during the kids soccer games.  It takes some effort but replacing the sticky sweet treats with naturally sweet fruits is a good way to start. Yes, fruit has sugars but the nutritional benefits of vitamins and fiber make all those apples and oranges a wise choice.

If you think you might have a cavity or if it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental check-up please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.

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