Sugar: how changing your diet can improve your dental health

Sugar: how changing your diet can improve your dental health
February 4th, 2016 | Blog | 1 Comment

Sugar plays a huge part of our daily life.  We’ve all been there; you wake up late, the alarm went off half an hour ago and now you have only a few minutes to get ready for work, you clean up, dress up, grab your keys and off you go, fortunately, there is a café shop right next to your office so you can just grab something before going up to the office.

You grab a couple of doughnuts, a nice hot cup of coffee (with sugar and cream), and with that you have enough calories to get you through the morning. Well, here is the bad news; a recent study made by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGP) has shown that people with these kinds of eating habits spend on average more time sitting in a dental chair than other people. So what gives?, well, to put it bluntly, that coffee and that doughnut have a lot more sugar in them than most people think.

Why is this important?, well, in the last decade there has been a huge paradigm shift in healthcare, instead of focusing developing treatments (AKA corrective procedures), the main interest of researchers and physicians has been on prevention, that is, to prevent the disease in the first place. In our case, what we eat and how we eat it plays a huge part in dental healthcare.

So, what should you be doing to prevent periodontal diseases?, from a dietary perspective its actually quite simple, be mindful of what you eat:

  • When deciding what to eat go with the option that has the least amount of sugar
  • When possible use sweeteners such as Xylitol
  • When drinking coffee or tea try to reduce the amount of sugar and cream you use
  • When you eat sweet foods brush as soon as possible
  • Try to replace sugar rich foods with fruits

For example, here is an interesting fact; an oatmeal cookie has one fifth the amount of sugar found in doughnut-like pastry, and it’s also a lot more nutritious. So, in our previous example, instead of getting those donuts keep a handy stash of oatmeal cookies and fresh fruit at home, and when you buy the coffee ask for a sweetener and either drink it black or ask for non-fat cream.

Small changes in your daily diet will have a long term impact, reducing the chances of you getting cavities, which in turn might lead to infections and in the worst case scenarios, the loss of tooth.