Our brains are wired to crave sugar, but our teeth and overall health are harmed by the effects of sugar. Specifically, our teeth are hurt when the bacteria in our mouths feed off of the sugar we eat. The bacteria excrete acid, and acid is what causes cavities.
200 hundred years ago, people ate about two pounds of sugar a year. Today, on average, Americans eat 152 pounds of sugar each year! That’s three pounds of sugar every week! The bacteria in your mouth feast every time you down a soda, indulge in an after-dinner dessert, or enjoy some jarred tomato sauce on your pasta.
With your teeth under attack all day, how can you defend them? Cutback on sweets and soda. Most foods, even candy, cookies, and other sweets, are fine in moderation. Have your sweet treat, but replace other snacks with vegetables, cheese, or nuts. These foods help neutralize acids and stimulate the salivation that washes away food particles. Replace soda with water, whenever you can. Water is one of the healthiest things you can consume for the strength of your teeth and overall wellbeing.
Combat the Effects of Sugar
Besides eating healthier and drinking more water, remember to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. It’s all about cleaning the surfaces of your teeth and mouth and removing anything for the bacteria to feed on.
If you’re one of those who eat 152 pounds of sugar a year, you should know the recommended daily limit of sugar for an adult male is nine teaspoons (36g) and six teaspoons (24g) for an adult woman. When you drink one 12oz. cola, you’re already over the recommended daily limit of sugar. That’s right, one cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Remember, the effects of sugar don’t only apply to your teeth. Too much sugar can lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, obesity and other problems. How sweet are you on sugar now?
So, read nutrition labels on the foods you buy and avoid foods with sugar listed as one of the first 5 ingredients. Change your snack routine to include vegetables, cheese, nuts and other healthy choices. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
Your teeth will thank you and your overall health will improve. There will even be fewer bacteria parties on your teeth!