Slash Your Sugar Intake for a Better Smile

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013, 9:08 pm

A new study by the World Health Organization found that reducing sugar intake substantially decreased people’s risk of cavities and gum disease. For example, those who ate six teaspoons of sugar as part of their daily diet had significantly better dental health than those who ate more teaspoons of sugar a day, according to the report.

However, its’ sometimes difficult to gauge exactly how many teaspoons of sugar you’re eating – especially when much of your daily sugar intake may come from “hidden” sources. From drinks to sauces, sugar is lurking in many processed, prepackaged products, and unless you read the nutritional label carefully, you may not realize just how much sugar your favorite snack contains.

Here are a few common foods and their surprisingly high sugar levels:

  • One can of soda contains the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • While it’s a healthier option that soda, fruit juice still contains 4 teaspoons of added sugar in each cup.
  • Just 1/4 cup of dried cranberries contains 7 teaspoons of sugar – the same amount of sugar as a 1/4 cup of chocolate-covered raisins.
  • The average energy bar contains about 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Extra sugar even lurks in foods you wouldn’t expect to contain much sugar at all:

  • A cup of coleslaw contains 3.6 teaspoons of sugar.
  • A cup of tomato sauce packs a whopping 8 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Some brands of salad dressings, especially those that are fat free, contain as much as a teaspoon of sugar per every 2 tablespoons of dressing.

So if drinking a can of soda is part of your daily routine, you may want to replace it with the healthier option of seltzer water with lemon juice added in for flavor. If you snack on chocolate-covered peanuts, just eat plain peanuts instead, and replace your sugary morning cereal with oatmeal or fruit and plain yogurt.

You may miss the extra sugar at first, but your smile will thank you in the long run. Taking steps to preserve your dental health – including sticking to a thorough teeth cleaning routine and avoiding foods that erode enamel – will protect your smile for years to come.

Dentistry in Toccoa

A thorough examination and evaluation by Dr. Joseph Wilbanks will determine what you need to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. To learn more about dental care, contact us today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Category: cavities, Decay, oral health

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