It’s the New Year and time for resolving to do things a little better for the year. One resolution you might want to consider is cutting the amount of sugar in your family’s diet. No one is saying to cut it out entirely – everyone loves something sweet now and then – but to look at how much you’re consuming now and try to get it into the 5 -10% range. The benefits for your teeth are very good as sugar is the fuel for the destructive bacteria that cause tooth decay.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that you keep your “free sugars” (sugar added to food) under 10%. Here’s what a more recent study recommends:
Professor Moynihan, Professor of Nutrition and Oral Health at Newcastle University said: “People now expect to keep their teeth into old age and given that the effects of sugars on our teeth are lifelong then limiting sugars to less than 5% of the calories we eat would minimize the risk of dental caries throughout life.
“In the past, judgements on recommended levels of free sugars intake were made based on levels associated with an average of three or fewer decayed teeth in 12 year olds. However, tooth decay is a progressive disease — by looking at patterns of tooth decay in populations over time, we now know that children with less than three cavities at age 12, go on to develop a high number of cavities in adulthood.
There are additional benefits to cutting the sugar in your life down to that range. Weight control for instance. And there may be a link between heart disease and sugar consumption that you can avoid. And, of course, the risk of diabetes.
So there are obvious benefits to cutting the amount of sugar in your diet. Resolve to give it a go and you’ll cut down on cavities, keep your teeth more healthy and hopefully enjoy them for life.