Important changes need to be made at the highest level to urgently address the deteriorating dental health from sugar consumption.
By now you’ve probably heard about the outspoken voice of chef Jamie Oliver and his passion on this topic. The British Dental Health Foundation is fully supporting new proposals made by Mr. Oliver in the campaign against excess sugar.
As part of his new documentary looking into sugar consumption, “Jamie’s Sugar Rush”, Mr. Oliver took an in depth look into the devastating effects sugar consumption is having on our dental health, with particularly worrying signs seen on the effects it is having on children.
The effects that sugar consumption is having on children’s dental health cannot be understated. Shockingly, a recent study found half of eight year olds have visible signs of decay on their teeth and a third of children are starting school with visible signs of tooth decay.
These figures are alarming, but are unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the effect sugar is having on dental health. More regularly we are seeing first-hand accounts about just how children are suffering due to sugar and this is being played out in every dental surgery across the country. Mr. Oliver has highlighted the fact that 26,000 primary school aged children were admitted to hospital due to tooth decay in 2014.
Tooth decay happens when sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque. This forms the acids that attack the teeth and destroy the enamel. After this happens many times, the tooth enamel may break down, forming a hole or ‘cavity’. Tooth decay almost always leads to fillings and often leads to teeth having to be extracted.
Early tooth decay can have no obvious symptoms, but we (your dental team) may be able to spot a cavity in its early stages when your teeth are examined. This is why you should visit your dental team regularly, as small cavities are much easier to treat than advanced decay.
We now have the public’s attention in the battle against sugar more than ever before and need to use this platform to force through important changes.
Dr. Phillips also notest that a high-sugar diet boosts your odds of not only tooth decay, but also heart disease, and diabetes, not to mention weight gain. Here are a few tips Dr. Phillips gives to help slash your sugar intake:
- Be sure to read food labels. There is hidden sugar in products that you may not imagine would even include sugar.
- Learn sugar’s aliases. Sugar hides under several sneaky names, including high fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, invert sugar, molasses, sucrose (or any word ending in “-ose”), brown rice syrup, honey, and maple syrup.
- Buy unsweetened. Buy foods labeled “no added sugar” or “unsweetened.”
- Don’t go cold turkey. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Ease into cutting back on sugar. If you normally put two packets of sugar in your coffee, for instance, try one for a week, then half, and finally add only a splash of milk. For your yogurt, mix half a serving of sweetened yogurt with half a serving of plain, and eventually move on to adding natural sweetness with fresh fruit.
Call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth dentist to schedule your dental checkup.