Sugar and Nutrition
Everything you eat and drink can have a major effect on the health of your teeth and gums.
Tooth decay is a diet-related disease that commonly develops in response to our consumption of sugar. Sugar from the foods and drinks we consume is taken up by decay-causing bacteria that live on the surfaces of our teeth. These bacteria process the sugar, turning it into acid which is then excreted on the surface of our teeth where it draws out minerals from the tooth. If this process happens over and over, without any effort to prevent or stop the disease process, it can eventually result in the formation of tooth decay.
Here are some top pro tips for reducing your sugar consumption to help prevent tooth decay.
Drink a lot of Water
Water is the best choice for your teeth. It is good for you, it is sugar free and in most areas in Australian it contains fluoride. Drinking fluoridated tap water is one of the most cost-effective ways to try to prevent tooth decay.
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and even fruit juices are packed with sugar. These drinks provide no nutritional content and increase your risk of developing tooth decay as well as a range of other health conditions like Type 2 diabetes. Even the sugar-free varieties can cause damage to your teeth as these drinks have a low pH, making them acidic, which can cause the tooth’s surface to soften and become worn.
How much is too much?
Did you know that one 600ml bottle of soft drink, on average, contains 16 teaspoons of sugar? This is over twice the recommended daily sugar intake for adults.
The World Health Organization recommends that adult sugar intake be equal to 5% of your daily total energy intake (kJ) to decrease your risk of developing tooth decay as well as other health benefits. For the average adult, this equates to 6 teaspoons (equal to 24 grams) of free sugar per day.