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Why is sugar bad for my teeth and what can I snack on?

National Smile Month at Time Dental in Farnham, Surrey

The 2nd key message of the National Smile month Campaign is:

Cut down on how often you have sugary food and drink

This may be a tough challenge for many people! At Time Dental we also carry out a dietary lifestyle assessment to help encourage good habits and help highlight habits which can be improved.

Why is the frequency of sugar intake so important? Well, tooth decay is caused by 3 factors: plaque, sugar and time. Harmful plaque bacteria in the mouth feeds on the sugar which then produces acid which results in tooth decay.

So if you have lots of sugary foods or drinks throughout the day, your teeth are under constant acid attack which will result in decay.

HEALTH TIP: Get into the habit of checking Nutritional info (Carbohydrates of which are sugars- 4g is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar). If you are going to snack between your main meals think carefully about what you are eating. As an example, so called healthy cereal bars with no added sugar have contained 5 teaspoons of sugar! Eating dried fruit is very sugary. It actually sticks in your teeth and will cause decay.

So what can I snack on? If your lacking inspiration simply get on the internet and get some health snack ideas! Here are a couple of simple suggestions:

  • Eating whole fruit rather than dried fruit. If you choose berries make sure you eat them in one go rather than grazing on them.
  • Try savoury biscuits instead of digestive, sweet biscuits
  • Carrot or cucumber sticks are very healthy
  • Porridge/ Weetabix/ Shredded wheat with add fresh fruit for breakfast
  • Homous or  other pulses are great
  • Low fat cheese / cottage cheese- cheese is great for neutralising acid
  • Drinking plenty of still water. It has helps wash any food debris away as well as keeping you hydrated.

Remember, just make one or two small changes and it will make a huge difference, I promise!

Time Dental- Private Dental care at its best

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