This week (12th – 18th November 2018) is Sugar Awareness Week, and at Honour Health we’re keen to help spread the message about how you can protect your teeth from the harmful effects of sugar.
What are free sugars?
Free sugars are the type of sugars that are added to food, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices – not sugars found in milk products or whole fruit and vegetables.
How much sugar can we eat?
The government recommends that free or added sugars should not make up more than 5% of the energy (calories) you get from food and drink every day. That works out as 30g of added sugar a day for adults – or about seven sugar cubes.
Children should have no more than 19g a day for children aged 4-6 (5 sugar cubes) and no 24g a day (6 sugar cubes) for children aged 7-10.
How do I protect my teeth from sugar?
- Chew sugar-free gum to help clean your teeth. This increases saliva production, which helps to remove sugar coating the teeth.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, and floss every time you brush, to prevent plaque building up around the teeth.
- Cut down on sugary drinks such as fizzy sodas, energy drinks and fruit juice. If you can’t avoid them altogether, use a straw, so your teeth aren’t as exposed to the sugar. We recommend that you switch to still water, which is not only much kinder to your teeth, but has so many other health benefits too – including increasing brain power, flushing out toxins, boosting your skin health and preventing headaches.
- Limit sugary foods to mealtimes. When you eat or drink anything sugary, your teeth are under attack from acid for up to one hour. The sugar will react with bacteria in plaque to produce harmful acids. If you only eat sugary foods at mealtimes, and don’t snack on them throughout the day, you limit the amount of time your mouth is at risk.
- Visit your dentist regularly. They will check the health of your teeth, mouth and gums and advise you how best to look after them.
For further help and advice about cutting down on your sugar intake, visit http://www.actiononsugar.org