Sugar is every dentist’s worst enemy. It negatively affects oral health and puts teeth at increased risk for decay, cavities, and can lead to more serious dental and overall health problems.
Sugar: It’s Not Just a Tooth Problem
When most people think of sugar, they immediately think of its negative effect on teeth. And while that’s definitely a fact, too much sugar can be dangerous to overall health too. An abundance of sugar in one’s diet can cause headaches, lead to overeating, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to cardiovascular disease.
How Much Is Too Much?
You shouldn’t cut sugar out of your diet entirely as it’s necessary for proper body function. But how much do you really need? The recommended amount of sugar intake varies from age to age and between genders. According to the American Heart Association, maximum daily sugar intake for adults is 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women.
Ways to Lower Sugar Intake
- Eliminate sweets. Sounds easier said than done, but there are other healthier ways to get the recommended amount of sugar, like fruits, for example.
- Check out labels. Sugar can hide in some surprising places such as yogurt and cereal. Read the labels and know what you’re buying.
- Remove sugary drinks. Soda is the obvious one, but teas, flavored waters, and sports drinks can also pack a sugary punch. Stick to water.
- Cook at home. By making your own meals, you’re in control of what ingredients you include.
- Choose unsweetened. Satisfy cravings for treats by selecting unsweetened versions of common baked goods.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your family’s diet can do a lot to protect oral and overall health. We know it may be challenging, but we know you can do it! Remember, diet is only part of what makes smiles and bodies happy. Always keep appointments with your dentist at least twice a year.