Should I quit sugar for my teeth?
Sugar is more prevalent in our diets than ever before and this has been recently highlighted in the movie, I Quit Sugar.
The health problems caused by sugar are known, but what is the effect on our teeth?
Sugar has a leading role in causing tooth decay. The bacteria that forms plaque uses sugar as its energy source causing it to multiply faster then grow larger and thicker around the tooth surface. Normally your own saliva can wash away the bacteria but as it grows that becomes more difficult.
So is sugar the only culprit in forming plaque? Research from the University College of London has found that nearly 90% of adults in America have some form of tooth decay while that figure in Nigeria is only 2! In Nigeria they also on average only consume 2g of sugar a day, America it is 150g a day. Fairly heavy evidence that it may be a culprit!
While it would be fantastic to think that we can quit sugar, a more realistic approach for our teeth is by making some smart choices and regular habits like the following:
- Drinking water instead of fruit juices and soft drink
- Having a glass of water after meal
- Chewing sugar free gum
- Using an electric tooth brush
- Brushing twice a day and
These small changes, a reduction in your sugar intake, and you will have a better chance of keeping your teeth as you grow old.